Right deare brother, the strangenes of harde accidens that ar arrived here, of unloked for, or unsuspected, attemps in Skotland, euen by some suche as lately issued out of our lande, constraineth me, as wel for the care we have of your person as of the discharge of our owne honor and consciense, to send you immediatly this gentleman, one that appartaineth to us in bloud, bothe to offer you all assistance of helpe as al good indeuor of counceil, and to make hit plaine that we delt plainly. Thes lordes makeng great outcryes that I wold not or coulde helpe them to be restored; I, by ther great importunitie, yelded, that if I might be fried of my assurance given unto you for ther safe kiping, I wold consent unto ther departure, and so, after your answer, as my thoght most honorable, that the might take ther way to Germany with your gracious graunt of some livelode, after a weekes space I gaue them my pasport and so dismissed them, without, I swere unto you, ons the sight of any one of them. Now, whan I way how suddenly, beyond my expectation, this suddan stur ariseth, and fering lest some ivel and wicked person might surmise that this was not without my forsight, I beseche you trust my actions accordinge the measure of my formar dealings for your safety, and ansuerable to the rule of reason, and you shal find, that few princes wyl agrye to constraint of ther equalz, muche les with compulsion of ther subiects. Juge of me, therfor, as of a kinge that caries no abiect nature, and thinke this of me, that, rather than your daungier, I wyl ventur myne; and albeit I must confesse that it is daungerous for a prince to irritast to muche, through iuel aduise, the generalitie of great subjectz, so might you or now haue folowed my aduise, that wold neuer betray you with unsound counceil; and now to conclude, making hast, I pray you be plain with this bearar, that I may knowe what you wold that I should do, without excuse hireafter, that constrained you did hit, for I dare assure you of his secresye, and therof be you bold. For the lord Russelz dethe, and other thinges, I referre me to this gentilman, who I dare promis is of no faction beside my wyl. God blesse you in al safety as I wysche myself.
Your tru assured cousing and sistar,
Feare not, for your life must be thers, or els the shal smart wel, euery mothers son of them.
Written in November 1585 regarding the banished Scottish Lords.
(Source: ” Letters of Queen Elizabeth and King James VI. of Scotland” edited by John Bruce 1849)