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Campbell of Glenorchy Letters 22-36 - 11th September 1564 to 16th March 1565

Date: 11 September [1564] [1]
REF: GD112/39/3/7 (SHS ed. No. 22)
Place: Dunivaig Castle (Islay)
From: Agnes Campbell, Lady Dunivaig
To: Colin Campbell of Glenorchy
Address: To ... the Lard of Glenowrche gyf yis Eme efter hartlie comendatiounis.

Forsamekill pliss with yat I am informit yat Magrigar(sic) hes gotten his fiall fre Sowrlie [2] and is in purposis to cume owt of Ayrland in contenent. [3]

Allso he desyritt licence fre my howsband to be transportit owt of ye Glennes to Scotland quha reffuissit him of ye samin.

And becaus yat he cann gett na ferrin owt of my howsbandis boundis I beleif yat he will gange to Knokfergus and yair Cappitane Peris will causs yame to be transportit. [4]

Be yat resone I thocht to advertiss zow of yair dayat befoir yair cumin to Scotland.

Farthar I mervell of zow yat sent me no answer of ye laist commonying [5] yat was betwix zow and zour Laday and me.

Nocht ellis bot sa biddis zow to ye protectione of God.

Off Dunnevaig ye xi of September.  Be zours, Agnes Campbell ladye off Dunnevaig and Glennes

[1] See the letter concerning the MacGregors being employed in Ireland from Agnes’ husband, James MacDonald of Dunivaig, 6 June 1564 [20]. The MacGregors were reported to have landed in the south-west of Scotland, 8 October 1564 [23].
[2] Sorley Boy MacDonald, brother of James, who had given the MacGregors their fee at the end of their service as redshanks. Thomas Randolph, the English ambassador, reported that the MacGregors had returned to Scotland ‘very poor’, 24 October 1564, CSPSc, II, 88.
[3] Immediately.
[4] Having had a licence to depart from the Glens of Antrim refused by James MacDonald, the MacGregors had been forced to go south to the English base at Carrickfergus commanded by Captain William Piers. The Scottish Council had issued a commission at Grey Colin's request to try to prevent boats from the W
est coast being used to transport the MacGregors, 4; 13-21 August 1564, GD112/1/150-1; printed in W.
Fraser, The Lennox, 2 vols, (Edinburgh, 1874), II, 427-8; MacGregor, thesis, 335-6.
[5] Replacing the crossed out, 'writing that I sent to zow'. There is no other indication of the matters discussed between Lady Agnes, Katherine and Grey Colin, though they might have involved marriage proposals.

Date: 8 October 1564
REF:GD112/39/3/8 (SHS ed. No. 23)
Place:  Edinburgh
From: Archibald Campbell, 5th Earl of Argyll
To: Colin Campbell of Glenorchy
Address: To our cousing the Lard of Glenwrquay gif yis Cousyng efter maist hartlie commendatiounis.

Forsameikill as ze sall wnderstand yat we ware in to Dalkeith and my Lord of Mwrraye to gidder and my Lord off Mortown wpon ye vij daye of yis instant passand our tym and wpon ye saidis daye we comm till Edinbrucht.

And quhen we comm we ware suirlie advertiisit yat ye Clangregor landit in to sum part of Carrik for in quhat place yai landit we cann nocht tell bot yai did land to ye number of foure scoir of men. [1]

And yairfoir howsoun yat we gat knawlage of ye saymin we thocht it best to advertiis zow yairof yat ze mycht be ware of yaim.

And yai past to ye town of Air quhaye refusit to lat yaim enter in ye town.

And we are assurit yat yai will mak ford-wairt to zour boundis als soun as yai maye.

Fardare ze sall wnderstand yat we are of mynd to be schoirtly in to Sanct Jonstoun and yairefter will speik with zow in with zour awn houss.

And yis we commit zou to God.

Off Edinburgh ye viij daye of October. And commend us hairtlie to zour bedfallow 1564. Zouris, Archibald Ergyll

[1] For the MacGregors return from Ireland, 11 September 1564 [22]. On 9 July 1564, the 5th earl and all the leading Campbells had made a bond to assist Grey Colin against the MacGregors, GD112/1/148; AT VI, 46-8; BBT, 209-10.

Date: 20 November 1564
REF: GD112/39/3/10
Place: Carrick Castle (Cowal)
From: Archibald Campbell, 5th Earl of Argyll
To: Colin Campbell of Glenorchy
Address: To our trest cousing Colin Campbell of Glenwrquhay gyf yis

Trest cousing efter hartlie commendatioun.

Resavit zour writin be ye quhilk we persaif ye contentis yairin and ye takin of Alister MacGregour VcDonchye Laduschache.

And as ... purpoiss we are contentit with nochtwithstanding we consall zow not to dispone hestilie vpon him to ye tyme ze conveyn ws.

And annentis ye rest of yaim be assurit yat we sall God willling do according our promeiss to zow as ze sall knaw at methin in Edinburgh at ye parliament.

As to MacCoule he dessyrit licence to pass to Leoyss the quhilk we grantit and cann nocht contramand without it be his awin dessyer and gif it war ye sam war our plessour.

We pass ye morn to Inveraray for expeditioun of our efferis yair yat we may return ye schonar.

Thair occeris nay novellis instantlie.

And sway continewis all vther thing to methin in Edinburgh as said is.

And God preserve zow. Of ye Carrik ye xx nycht of November 1564. Zouris Archibald Ergyll

[PS] We wilbe at ye parliament God willing yairfoir we wald ze war thair.

Commend wss to zour wyf.

Date: n.d. [bef. 25 November1564] [1]
REF: GD112/39/3/19 (SHS ed. No. 24)
From: Gregor MacGregor of Glenstrae
To: Katherine Ruthven, Lady Glenorchy
Address: To my maistress ye Lady of Glenvrquhay

Maistreis efter maist hartlie commendatioun of service.

Yis present salbe to ramember zour Ladyship yat I lipin in zoue to do my gud herand [2] at my Maisteris hand zour spous.

And ramembir at yis is the fyrst herand at I desyrit at zour hand to do for me.

And ze kep kyndnes ze suld do my gud herand tytare [3] nor my ewill herand.

Do in yis mater as zour wysdoum thynkis expedient and God be zour keper.

Be zouris at command. Gregour Macgregor of Glenstraye [4]

[1] This letter probably precedes Gregor’s letter to Grey Colin c. 25 November 1564 [25]. It should be placed at the start of the attempts at reconcilation after the MacGregors’ return from Ireland, see 8 October, [23]; 25 November 1564, GD112/39/3/11 – not printed.  In John McGregor’s collection this letter is filed after 1 February 1565, GD50/187/1; MacGregor, thesis, 339, n. 183.
[2] Errand.
[3] Sooner or rather.
[4] The letter and signature are all in one hand with no separate signature suggesting that Gregor was unable to sign his name, MacGregor, thesis, 339, n. 183; also see Introduction.

Date: 25 November 1564
Place: Inveraray Castle
From: Archibald Campbell, 5th Earl of Argyll
To: Colin Campbell of Glenorchy
Address: To our cosing the Lard of Glenurquhay gyf yis
Trest cosing eftir hartly commendatioun.

Yis is to adwartiss zow yat summ serwandis of myne hess spokyn wyt Makgrygwir towart ye mataris yat ze and I spak at our last talking togydir and I parsayf be Makgrygowiris talk yat he will parform part of zour will and myne gyf he may bot I hayf nocht rasawit plan answr as zeit bot aperance.

Yarfor qwhill yis may cwm to affek I pray zow to adwartiss me gyf ze will be swir to yaim quhill fyften dayis be past and do yaim na harm nodir ze nor zouris and ya sall do na harm to nain of zouris for ye sayd space for ya ar waray fleit.

Yarfor I think it best yat ze will promess ye samin to ws for ye sayd fyftin dayis qwhill we get ane resolwt answr for it can do zow na harm and hest ye answr to ws again.

Ye rest refaris to our mething. And God hayf zow in his kyping.

Of Inwiraray ye xxv day of Nowembar 1564.  Zouris Archibald Ergyll

[PS] And God will ze sall hayf it to zour honwr or ellis ze sall se fryndis do yair pairt.

Date: c. 25 November 1564 [1]
REF: GD112/39/2/25 (SHS ed. No. 25)
Place: From: Gregor McGregor of Glenstrae
To: Colin Campbell of Glenorchy
Address: To ane worschipfull and my traist maister and eym Colin Campbell of Glenwrquhay

Rycht wurshipfull Sir maister and eyme eftir all hertle commendatiounis of my service.

All thoyth ze thynk it nocht to all to zour plesour nochtwithstandyng gif zour Maisterschip wald be so gratius as to lat me and my kennissmen brwik [2] and possiss our awin kynd natife rummiss for dewite and service as we aucht in zour service.

I my kennissmen freyndis and servandis sa mony as ma salbe obedient and serviabile to zour Maistership in tymes cummyng aganis all ye Quenes Grace and my Lord Erle of Ergile exceptit and sall eftir my powar recompenss of my service and geir ye skayth yat is done my heredage and ye lif of my kennissmen beand exceptit.[3]

Ze sall onderstand yat I haif na mair to offer and gif zow bot my service togidder with my kenn and frendis sa mony as ma lat and till servef zow eftir powar in recompenss.

Ze ar ye maister yat is maist necessar for me and my freynds onder God.

And I and my kennissmen ar ye maist necessar servandis for zow onder God.[4]

And all thoyth yat I and my frendis be at deferance with zour Mastership instantly, I and ya and gif God sendis me ofbrying [5] will servief zour Mastershipis ofbrying in tym cumming.

Ze sall wit I am cumin ewiss [6] zour boundis and I mycht till haif donn skayth quhilk I defarrit byding on zour gud mynd.

I left Scotland at ye command of my Lord Erle of Ergile beleifing of ye setting of zour gud mynd toarthis me.[7]

And throyth zour dredart [8] and all thoycht ze draw on zour wyeris ze ar nocht abill to get mair fectuiss [9] servandis to zour plessour nor we ar.

Pleiss zow to send me in wrett zour mynd quhilk I pray God to be gud.

Be zouris with powar and service, Gregor MacGregor of Glenstra

[1] Written after the MacGregors’ return to Breadalbane from Ireland in October 1564. It probably refers to the attempt at reconciliation which the 5th earl mentioned to Grey Colin 25 November 1564, GD112/39/3/11 - not printed, and is linked to Gregor’s letter to Katherine bef. 25 November 1564 [24]. In John MacGregor’s collection the above letter is placed after 27 November 1564, GD50/187/1; MacGregor, thesis, 339 at n. 183.
[2] Have or enjoy the use of.
[3] For a discussion of MacGregor’s offer of service and its conditions, see MacGregor, thesis, 282; 339.
[4] This remarkable statement that Glenorchy was the master whom the MacGregors most needed and the MacGregors the servants whom Glenorchy most needed summed up the the great irony of the feud, see MacGregor, thesis, 397.
[5] Offspring or children.
[6] Close to.
[7] Referring to the M
acGregors’ trip to Ireland to fight as redshanks for Sorley Boy MacDonald, 6 June; 11 September 1564, [20; 22]; MacGregor, thesis, 334.
[8] Fear or dread. [9] Courageous fighters as servants.

Date: n.d.[2 December 1564] [1]
REF: GD112/39/3/29 (SHS ed. No. 26)
Place: Stronmilchan (near Dalmally, Lorn)
From: Gregor MacGregor of Glenstrae
To: Colin Campbell of Glenorchy
Address: To the rycht honorable Lard off Glenurquhay

Rycht honorable Sir efter maist hartlie commendatioun of service.

Yis sall certifie zour Mastership yat I wes infurmit yat Johne MacGillespy Vicphatrik send word to zour Mastership yat I suld say yat I wald nocht haif ane officiar in Glenurquhay bot yaim yat I wald chuis and in likmaner yat I wald nocht lat his servants ramayne in his landis of Knokinty. [2]

As to yat trewlie I thocht it neuer and to verefe ye samen I causit Johne MacGillespy cum before James Ruthven and Gregor MacAne [3] and sperit at him gif I said ye samen and he denyit yat euer he hard it of ony body.

Yairfoir prayis zour Mastership to tak nocht sic sayingis on me of ony body without yai may mak it gude. For I am myndit to mak zour service and put in tenentis in zour landis and nocht to stop ony man.

I sall ramayne still in Glenurquhay and with ye grace of God sall do deligenis to keip ye cuntray quhill mayr help cum.

And gif zour Mastership heiris ony newis I pray zour Mastership to adverteis me and in speciall anent ye [Lordis] northland men. [4]

Rest reffaris to zour Mastershipis ansuer and ye Lord praserve zour Mastership.

From Stronmenessage yis Saterday tymos. [5] Be zouris assurit at comand, Gregour Macgregor off Glensthre

[1] This letter was probably written some time after his letter to Katherine, bef. 25 November 1564 [24] and after Gregor’s offer to Grey Colin c. 25 November 1564 [25]; 5th earl to Grey Colin, 25 November 1564, GD112/39/3/11 - not printed. It is dated Saturday which would probably place it on 2 December rather than 25 November.
[2] Knockinty was about half way up Glen Orchy near the present settlement of Arichastlich.
[3] James Ruthven was a servant of Grey Colin’s and Gregor MacAne was the Captain of Kilchurn, MacGregor, thesis, 428.
[4] The letter in the manuscript appears to be a capital L and so an abbreviation for Lordis, in which case Gregor might possibly be referring to some of Argyll’s allies or servants from the north.
[5] Early.

Date: Sunday [25 February 1565] [1]
REF:GD112/39/4/1 (SHS ed. No. 32)
Place: Loch Awe
From: Dougal Campbell of Auchinbrek
To: Colin Campbell of Glenorchy
Address: To ye rycht honorable man and my trst eyme Collin Campbell of Glenvrchay

Rycht honorabill Sir and trest eyme eftir maist hartle commendatiounis.

Forsamekill ze sal be inffurrmit that I haiff spokin with MacGrigor and with Ewin his brodir wpon yis last Sunday eftir nowne anenttis all bissynes yat was commwnit betuix my Lord and zow with ye rest of ye frendis at Ballyocht ye last day effoir my Lordis departing ffra zow.[2]

Thairffor MacGrigor with awyce of his brodir Ewin hes desyrit me ffor to wrett to zow yat himself and his men may haiff of zow xx dayis of surrance [3] eftir ye wrettin of zour ansour.

That he may be awycit with ye rest of his cunsall and yat he haiff ane lettir of surrance ffra my Lord send to all his bowndis yat he and his men may haiff surrance ye space of ye said xx dayis ffor to se geve he can aggre with zow and ye rest of frendis.

Mairattour he hes promecit me ffor to nocht cum nour wse oidir na part of zour bowndis ffor to do na skayth ye space of zour surrance exsept yat he vse Glenvrchay.

And yaime yat lykis with gude will ffor to geve him ane nytis meit to takit and yat affore he man heiff meit quhair evir he cumis.

Now geve ze pleis yat yis be downe adverteis me in writ eftir ye resavin of yis bill.

In heist and cais MacRonald ffor to do na skayth to yame ye space of ye said xx dayis.[4]

Nocht ellis bot credence to ye berar At Loch How yis Sunday.

Be zour eyme at powar. Dowgall Campbell off Achinbrek

[PS] Commend me hartle to zour bedfallow.

[1] Written after the Balloch agreement of 20 February,GD112/1/158; MacGregor, thesis, 340-1, and before his letter to Grey Colin, 14 March 1565 [35]. Auchinbreck discussed the Balloch terms with Gregor MacGregor and his brother Ewin on a Sunday afternoon, probably the same Sunday [25 February] on which he wrote this letter ‘in haste’.
[2] The 5th earl left Balloch on 20 or 21 February, and was in Perth on 24 February 1565 GD112/39/3/20
- not printed.
[3] Assurance, a truce or safe-conduct.
[4] The MacGregor chief and his brother wanted a truce for 20 days to see if a settlement would be acceptable to the rest of the clan, though they would need to get provisions from the inhabitants of Glen Orchy. It was important that MacDonald of Keppoch and his men were stopped from raiding the MacGregors during the truce.

Date: 8 March 1565
REF: GD112/39/3/23 (SHS ed. No. 34)
Place: Edinburgh
From: William Maitland of Lethington
To:Colin Campbell of Glenorchy
Address: To the rycht hono... the Lard of Glenvrquhay

Rycht honorable Sir eftir maist hartlie commendatioun.

My Lord of Menteth quha now is with God [1] at his departing left to me ye protectioun of his wif and barnyis quarof I thoucht gude to advertiss zou.

And albeit I vnderstand yat ze bare sufficient favour and kyndnes to him in his liftyme zit seing that at yis tyme I haif sum enteres [2] yair away I will lippin yat his freindis and tenentis haif ye like favour of zou for my causs.

And yairfor I pray zou that in ye persute of ye Clan Gregor or vyer wayis ze gif heid yat ye Erll of Mentethis tenentis and rowmis be nocht oppressit nor trublit be zour servandis sua yat now quhen yai ar in my handis thay be nocht in a worc caise nor quhen himself wes alive.

And in yat doing as ze sall do me gret plesour sa may be ze assurit yat I sall recompenc with zou with ye like gude will as occasioun sall serve.

Thus I commit zou to ye protectioun of God.

At Edinburgh ye viij day of Merche 1564. Zouris alwayis to command, William Maitland

[1] John Graham, 4th earl of Menteith, died in January 1565, Scots Peerage, VI, 160. His wife was Marion Seton, the sister of Mary Seton, one of the 4 Maries. Another of the Maries, Mary Fleming, was married to Maitland. Menteith, who was a zealous Protestant, had been linked to Grey Colin in the letter addressed to them both, calling for help during the Reformation crisis, see Introduction; 10 June 1559 [1]. Menteith’s
sister was the second wife of the 4th earl of Argyll, see Appendix C.
[2] Interest.

Date: 14 March 1565
(SHS ed. No. 35)
Place:  Loch Gair (on Loch Fyne, Argyll)
From: Dougal Campbell of Auchinbreck
To: Colin Campbell of Glenorchy
Address: To ane rycht honorable man and my trest eyme Collin Campbell of Glenvrchay

Rycht honorabile Schir and trest eyme eftir maist hartle commendatioun.

I hawe resavit zour wretting quhair it makis mentioun yat ze vill nocht geve na assurance to MacGrigor nor to his men.

Bot bidis me and ye Lard of Ardkynglass ffor to geve MacGrigor and his men assurance ye space of xx dayis in yis manar geve we had be bruit [1] yat we mycht bring yame to ane guidle way off greence [2] swa yat ye Glengrigors wsit nocht in ony part of zour bowndis ye space off ye said assurance.

Now ze sall ondirstand yat I haiff goddin na word ffra MacGrigor sen I wret to zour self last [3] be ressun yat ye Lard of Ardkynglass is bot now cumin haime.

Thairffor I haiff send ane servand of myne with zour servand to ye Lard of Ardkynglass with ane wrettin of my awin.

And hes biddin him wret his heil mynd to zow twiching ye ansor of MacGrigor yat geve it cumis to zour purrpass concerning to our commwing in presence off my Lord yat ze mey send me zour assurance in wret. And yat ze nour nane of zouris do na skayth to nane of ye Glengrigors ye space of ye assurance refarran ye rest to zour awin wistown(sic). [4]

And commend me hartle to zour bedfallow.

As anent my brudir and ye Lard of Duntreinis brudir sendin to zow with heist yay are makand yame in redynis and salbe at zow als schowin as yai mey.[5]

This committis zow to ye protectioun of God.

At Lochgar ye xiijj day of Merche. Be zour eyme at all powar 1564. Dougall Campbell off Achinbrek

[1] News.
[2] Agreement.
[3] Probably Auchinbreck’s letter of 11 March 1565 [32].
[4] The complicated negotiations which were being conducted involved the 5th earl, Ardkinglass and Auchinbreck as well as the two ‘principals’ Grey Colin and Gregor MacGregor, see 16; 19 March [36-7]; GD112/39/3/26 - not printed; MacGregor, thesis, 340.
[5] For the provision of Alastair, Auchinbreck’s brother and Donald, Duntrune’s brother along with 24
men, see 20 February 1565 agreement, GD 112/1/158; MacGregor, thesis, 341.

Date: 16 March 1565
REF:GD112/39/5/2 (SHS ed. No. 36)
Place: Balloch Castle
From: Colin Campbell of Glenorchy (draft)
To: Archibald Campbell, 5th Earl of Argyll
Address: My Lord efter mayst hartlie commendatioun of service.

I haif resavit tua writingis of zour Lordshipis [1] makand mentioun yat yair wes seruantis of myn in cumpany with John McAlesteris soine at ye sclauchter of ye Lard of Bawquannandis seruant. [2]

As to yat I assure zour Lordship yair wes nane of myn at it nor never salbe at siclik with my will and gif ye Lard of Boquhannan will gif me ye namis of ony of my seruantis yat wes at ye said sclauchter I sall put yame to ye lawis.

As to ye assurans yat zour Lordship hes sufferitt ye Lardis of Auchinbrek and Ardkinglas to gif ye Clangregor I think yat zour Lordship hes done weill yairintill sua ye promessis maid vnto zour Lordship be kepit.

Bot gif it be onlie yat yai may tak meitt in zour Lordshipis boundis during ye assurance I think it is neyir zour Lordshipis honour nor my weill.

I send writings aucht dayis syne to ye Lard of Auchinbrek and hes resavit na ansure yairof as yit.[3]

And quhair zour Lordship writis yat my seruantis hes brocht away certane gud is and geyr of ye Lard of Boquhennan in place of Duncane MacCoull Keir geir and desyris me to restor ye samen againe be resoun yat ye said Lard dependis onlie vpoun zour Lordship and hes tynt [4] and ... my Lord of Lennox for yat cause.

Zour Lordship sall wit yat I send my seruantis to haif apprehendit ye said Duncan and to haif brocht him to justice and seing yai culd nocht gett him brocht away part of his gere and nay vther manis geir as I sall sufficentlie preiff and yat with zour Lordshipis awin seruantis and diverss vyeris quha wer present for ye tyme. For yair wes restorit all geyr yat wes clamitt be ye Boquhennanis and the Clanferlane and cautioun fund yairfor quhilk drew to xl heyd of ky and better.

And Duncane MacCoullis gere wes offerit siclik vpoun catioun and nay man wald be gude for it and ye nychtbouris grantit yat yair wes na geyr yair brocht away bot the said Duncane.

Therifore I beseik zour Lordship to consider the matter according to zour Lordshipis honour and myn for I haif done na thing bot according to ye commissioun yat I haif of ye Quene Majeste [5]  and can nocht restore the gere quhill ye man be fyrst purgit be ye law.

For vthervyse pervse my commissioun quhilk I will nocht do to mak ane oppin way to vtheris to desyre siclik. Bot quhen ye Lard of Boquhennan presentit the man to the law and beis pergit of sic thingis as I will persew him according to the Quene Majestie ordinans yan I sall restor ye geyr and mak the Lard of Boquhanan ane mendis at zour Lordshipis sycht bot in ye mayntyme zour Lordship mai haif me excusit.

For gif ye Lard of Boquhennan haid respect to his awin honour he wald nocht insist sa far in ane common theiff actioun repugnant ye lawis of the realm.

I am glaid yat zour Lordship be servit be Boquhennan and siclik honest men, nochttheles it is na caus to zour Lordship to lychlie [6] zour awin quhilk man be zour best quhen it cummis to ye vpwith. [7]

For my forbearis servit zour Lordshipis predecessouris quhen the Boquhennanis wer to seik [8] and speciallie quhen yair wes mayst ado.

I wrete nocht to zour Lordship for MacCoule Keir gere for with ye help of God I sall neuer tak gere bot with gude zele bot I wald zour Lordship desyrit na thing of me bot according to zour Lordshipis honour and myn.

I resavit ane lytill tykat of zour Lordshipis sayand yat zour Lordship knew nocht ye ground of ye mater anent ye Clangregor yairfore sen ye Lard of Ardkinglas is passit to zour Lordship I pray zour Lordship aduerteis me as zour Lordship thinkis gude.

Ye rest committis to zour Lordshipis wisdome and ye Lord God preserue zour Lordship.

From Ballocht ye xvj day of Merche 1564.

[1] One letter was 11 March 1565 GD112/39/3/24 - not printed, the other has been lost.
[2] See MacGregor, thesis, 342.
[3] Auchinbreck’s letter of 14 March 1565 [35] had not reached Grey Colin.
[4] Tyne, in the sense of to draw away from Lennox and his affinity.
[5] Grey Colin pleaded his royal commission of 22 September 1563 which explains why there were comp
laints against his over-vigorous use of it, 22 March 1564, RPC, I, 271-2.