Robert Masterton of Beath (c1565-1640)

Robert Masterton of Beath (c1565-1640)

Robert Masterton of Beath has several entries in the 17th Century Court Records of Dunfermline, notably with his brothers William and Thomas in some edgy confrontations and local feuds, possibly during a reunion with his brothers on a furlough during his service in the Scots Brigade of the Dutch Army. But it is his earlier history that is fascinating. In the 1590's he and his brother James appear to have fallen from the king's favour by being suspected of associating with Francis Stewart, Earl of Bothwell, a notable conspirator and eventual exile. It appears that Robert himself had to leave Scotland at least for a time. He is described as a "captain". This episode has been captured in the 1946 historical novel "The Border Lord" by Jan Westcott.

The evidence of where Robert went during his time in exile is contained in the History of the Scots Brigade in the Service of the United Netherlands. (He seems to have fallen in the footsteps of another Robert Masterton, who was in charge of a company of men in 1577). A Thomas Masterton, probably the younger brother of Robert, was appointed quartermaster to the Brigade in 1597. The curious aspect of his time there is that he found himself on the opposite side to the exiled Francis, Earl of Bothwell, who had aligned himself with the Spanish. This resulted in an interesting footnote to history when because of the Mastertons' previous association with Bothwell, an attempt was made to turn Thomas to Bothwell's cause, but his duty to his new paymasters prevailed, with unfortunate consequences to one Robert Lundin. By 1607, the same post of quartermaster in Colonel Brough's regiment is held by a Robert, rather than Thomas, Masterton, raising some doubts as to whether this was the same Masterton, wrongly transcribed, or whether Robert did indeed succeed Thomas in the same post. Both names appear several times in the book, so I would favour the latter interpretation.

The extracts from the Calendar of State Papers are, in effect, the English authorities' means of gaining intelligence on events in Scotland through regular reports from ambassadors and agents. The MI6 of its day! Robert Bowes was the English ambassador to Scotland 1577-83, and was later often used on diplomatic missions from his post as treasurer of Berwick, although he regularly asked to be relieved of his duties to return home to tend to his estates. This was never granted and he died at Berwick in 1597.


Robert Masterton was the eldest son of Alexander Masterton of Beath and Catherine Brown, landowners in Beath and Grange, and was married to Margaret Masterton, probably distantly related. His birth record has not survived in Old Dunfermline Parish Records, unlike many of his siblings. But we know from the Privy Council records that he was a brother of James Masterton, and both were sons of Alexander Masterton of Beath. More details on Robert's extended family can be found at the following link.


Calendar of the State Papers Relating to Scotland
and Mary, Queen of Scots, 1547-1603

Vol X. 1589-93.

25 June 1591, Edinburgh


Yesterday the King returned to Edinburgh, and took order with the Council that judgment should be given against the Earl of Bothwell for his treason of the Brigg of Dee, which judgment has been hitherto suspended, and which offence Bothwell alleges to be pardoned by the King. Nevertheless this day the judgment is pronounced, and by open proclamation he is declared traitor and to be forfeited, with commandment to all persons to forbear to harbour or deal with him, publishing many of his crimes at large. His possessions shall be seized by the controller of the King's house for the King's use, and the offices of the admiral, Liddesdale, and others given to the Duke of Lennox. Sir John Carmichael has been moved to be under the Duke for the government of Liddesdale, but he will be loth to deal therewith, and desires to be rid of the charge of the west wardenry, the burden and expenses thereof being over heavy for him. Bothwell alleges three causes moving him to break his ward. First, that the King would appoint him to embark, at such time as Bowes should give notice of, to her majesty's ship lying ready to surprise and take him. Secondly, that on Monday last the Chancellor and laird of Spynie, in their opening of the King's pleasure for the caution and conditions for his delivery, seemed to be much more strait towards him than the commisioners sent before unto him, "so as by the hardnes of the condytions proponed by the Chancelour, he fownd no hope of lyffe lefte to hyme." And lastly, that two persons in chief credit with the King had so dealt with him that he broke ward to save his life.

If they deny it, he offers to prove his assertion by combat, first against one and then against the other. He further offers to re-enter into ward, and abide trial in all causes except for this late escape and for consulting with Richard Graham the witch. "For towching his fact at the Quarrell Holles at the tyme of the roode of the brig of Dee," he thinks himself pardoned by the King. He offers to challenge five noblemen, two councillors, four ministers and three burgesses.

On Wednesday last he supped at Captain Maisterton's in Leith; from thence he came to Margaret Strawhan's house in Canongate and drank with some of his friends from Edinburgh; after he came to the ports, and rode about the castle. Yesterday he was seen in Teviotdale ["Tyvidalle"], with sixteen horse, for the gentlemen of Lothian are loth to join him, and few or none of the nobility aid him in this action. It is said that if he cannot obtain favour of the King he will seek the King of Spain, but that he will first entreat the Chancellor and Bowes to move the King for him.

Calendar of the State Papers Relating to Scotland
and Mary, Queen of Scots, 1547-1603
William K Boyd & Henry Mackie (eds)
Vol X 1589-93,
p. 535-6
HM General Register House
Edinburgh, 1936

The History of the Kirk of Scotland

Vol 5. 1589-93.

David Calderwood



Upon Fryday, the 23d of Julie, a proclamatioun [was made] at the Croce of Edinburgh, discharging to furnishe meate and drinke to Bothwell, to interteane or recept him, and to assist the magistrats to apprehend him when they sall be required. Upon Moonday, the 26th, Bothwell supping in Leith, in Captane Maisterton's, the commoun bell of Edinburgh was knelled to give wairning to apprehend him. He came to the Neather Bow, throwed doun a fourtie shilling peece, in witnesse that he provoked the chanceller to come and take him, saying, he was at his horne, not at the king's. After that the king went over the water, the chanceller, fearing Bothwell, waiged souldiours to keepe his hous in Edinburgh, and caused Edinburgh keepe a strait watche. Upon the 29th of Julie, Marshall was wairded in the Castell of Edinburgh with Peter Kinloche, servitour to the Erle Bothwell, for speaking with Bothwell. The Lord Hume, guiltie of the same cryme, fled, but entered himself soone after in Blacknesse; Rosling in Edinburgh, but were soone after sett at libertie. The Lord Hume turned an enemie to Bothwell. Upon Wednisday, the 4th of August, Bothwell was denuded by publict proclamatioun at the Croce of Edinburgh of all honours, offices, and digniteis, as the Admiraltie of Scotland, the Shirefshipp of Lothiane, Merce, and Berwick. The Duke of Lennox was proclamed Admirall and Shireff in his place. The day after, the duke went to the Tolbuith of Edinburgh, and held an Admirall and Shireff Court, choosed new members, and held another Court of Admiraltie in Leith. Upon Moonday, the 18th of October, there was great bussinesse about the taiking of the Erle Bothwell, who escaped out of Leith, nothwithstanding of all the haste the king made. His best hors, called Valentine, was taikin, and * * Scot, the Laird of Balwerie's brother, was caried to the Castell of Edinburgh by the guarde, at six houres at night.

The History of the Kirk of Scotland
David Calderwood, Thomas Thomson (ed)
Vol V
p. 138-9
Printed for the Wodrow Society
Edinburgh, 1844

Calendar of the State Papers Relating to Scotland
and Mary, Queen of Scots, 1547-1603

Vol X. 1589-93.

19 October 1591, Edinburgh


Yesterday morning Bothwell came to Captain Masterton's house in Leith, and tarried there until two o'clock this afternoon. Between one and two this afternoon the servants of the Earl of Huntly, being in the town of Leith whilst the Duke of Lennox and Huntly played "goffe" on the sands at Leith, hearing that Bothwell was in Masterton's house, advertised the Duke and Huntly of the same: whereupon they sent advertisement to the King, who so hastily took horse to come to Leith to apprehend Bothwell, that he passed without boots, and not above eight in his company. At Leith he met the Duke and Huntly, who had attended his coming before they would environ Masterton's house or search and make sure the town: yet it is said that some of their servants saw Captain Haggerston come out of that house and let him depart, and the King was told that three men armed, every one leading a gelding, were seen to pass out of the north west part of Leith towards Queensferry, in which company Bothwell was thought to be. The King at his coming to Leith disposed sundry men to search the town and the fields, and appointing Sir James Sandilands to wait on the north west part of Leith, himself entered Masterton's house, where he could not find Bothwell.

Soon after Sir James Sandilands espying Robert Scott, brother of the Laird of Balwearie and servant to Bothwell, to come that way, leading "Valentyne," Bothwell's principal horse, he took Scott and the horse and presented them to the King; who, finding that Scott would not confess where Bothwell was, committed him to Edinburgh castle, saying that by torture of the boots he would draw out of him more than of his own accord he would confess. The Chancellor, having received physic these two days last past, and hearing that the King was thus suddenly ridden to Leith slenderly accompanied, followed the King in all haste and returned with him, finding his body much disquieted.

Was informed that four English and Scottish Catholics were in Colonel Sempill's house in Edinburgh, ready to pass to Dunkirk in a barque of James Kincavell's of Kirkcaldy, and that Captain Haggertson and other servants of Bothwell had taken this barque against the owner's will and purposed to pass themselves and carry these Papists with them; therefore procured warrant of the King and Council to stay this barque. The Chancellor had agreed to surprise those guests today in Colonel Sempill's house, but the accident at Leith has deferred it. Thinks this alarm will chase them this night out of the town. Understands by a Catholic that an Englishman naming himself James Holland is lately come hither, addressed to Captain Carr, who intended to have sent him to Aberdeen, but he attends the coming of one Browne, a young Englishman now in Northumberland....

...In other things the state is calm; therefore prays his lordship to procure him to leave to return to England to give contentment to her majesty for his debts, to render his accounts, and dispose of the small things that he and his son have in coal, salt, etc., that they fall not into such ruin that her majesty can have no profit of them and he and his son be frustrate hereafter of the use of them. Feels daily increase of impediment in his sight and other infirmities of age, drawing him into some errors. Edinburgh. Signed: Robert Bowes.

Calendar of the State Papers Relating to Scotland
and Mary, Queen of Scots, 1547-1603
William K Boyd & Henry Mackie (eds)
Vol X 1589-93,
p. 578-9
HM General Register House
Edinburgh, 1936

Calendar of the State Papers Relating to Scotland
and Mary, Queen of Scots, 1547-1603

Vol X. 1589-93.

24 October 1591, Edinburgh


Diligent search has been made whether Bothwell was in Captain Masterton's house or other place in Leith at the King's late coming thither upon information brought to him by the Laird of Buckie that Captain Haggerston was seen in Leith and that Bothwell was likewise there and environed by the Duke of Lennox and Earl Huntly; yet it cannot be certainly found that Bothwell was that day in Leith, as was certainly given the King to understand. Robert Scott, servant to Bothwell, taken at Leith and examined by the King and Council, will not say whether Bothwell was at Leith or not on that day, as by Scott's deposition enclosed will appear. Some affirm that they saw him leaping over some broken walls in Leith, but knows not whither he went. Thus Bothwell's being in Leith that day is still questionable. Haggerston was certainly there, seen by some who told the Duke and Huntly, who willed them to bid him come to the Duke, but Haggerston escaped. It is said that Bothwell remains in Fife, purposing to pass into Spain with Haggerston and other servants lately denounced rebels, in the barque of James Kincavell of Kirkcaldy which is ready to sail. Hears by more credible intelligence that Bothwell mislikes to take the seas at this time and will abide in covert places in this realm. Lady Bothwell, being in Leith, is charged to ward in Aberdeen, as by copy of the charge and letter enclosed will be seen. Encloses also copy of the act prohibiting all persons to aid Bothwell: agreeable to that act proclamation is published in all the boroughs.

Whilst the Chancellor attended the King at Leith for the apprehension of Bothwell, the Countess of Bothwell uttered some bitter words towards the Chancellor and Huntly. She told the Chancellor that all matters were compounded between him and her husband, and the latter had done him many good deeds since their agreement. The Chancellor answered that he had recompensed those good deeds with triple benefits, and that whilst Bothwell pretended friendship he was seeking his life. The knot of friendship pretended is thus utterly broken. The King and Council have been occupied this week touching Bothwell, the maintenance of the King's house, and some private suits. Other matters are referred to the assembly on the 27th instant.

Calendar of the State Papers Relating to Scotland
and Mary, Queen of Scots, 1547-1603
Vol X 1589-93,
William K Boyd & Henry Mackie (eds)
p. 580-1
HM General Register House
Edinburgh, 1936

"The Border Lord"

Jan Westcott, 1946

Events set in 1591

They were driving rapidly down Leith Wynd, the road that ran from the seaport to the capital. Only a few miles separated Edinburgh from its port; the carriage was in Leith, the town was all around them.
"There are many people abroad." Anne frowned a little, peering out curiously.

The coach came to a sudden stop; the man beside the driver leaped down and came to the door. Other men crowded around him and, at the same time, they could hear the common bell in Edinburgh, ringing, ringing.
Patrick flung open the door. "What's the matter?"

He was very impatient, but when he saw the milling crowds in the street, he was puzzled, too. He waited for an answer, but no one was inclined to give it. There were sudden shouts from the corner up ahead; the coachman was yelling at the men who had stopped the horses, and Patrick jumped out of the coach, slamming the door. Anne waited, afraid, because on the other side of the carriage several armed men peered in at her.

She kept her eyes on her hands, in her lap, but her face paled. Time passed, and still Patrick did nto return. After five minutes he finally appeared. "What has happened?" she gasped, pulling at his arm as he climbed in.

He said, incredulously, "Bothwell is in Leith! Somewhere! They're tolling the common bell as warning!"
"He is in Leith?" She repeated his words, and her eyes gleamed. "Of course. Murray told me this afternoon - " She broke off, lowering her lashes, and became very thoughtful. Murray had told her that Bothwell had expected to dine tonight with Captain Maisterton. Anne knew the Captain; he had brought her from France; his house was just down the road.

"What did Murray say?" asked Patrick.
"Oh, I forget," she said hurriedly. The coach was going slowly; they could hear plainly the bells of the city tolling their warnings. "Patrick, I'm afraid!"
"Aye, he nodded. "I'm afraid I cannot leave you at the docks now. There'll be trouble there, with Bothwell's sailors. They do not believe in outlawry - not when 'tis their Admiral. Yet I cannot believe the rumour for truth!"
"It must be true," wailed Anne. "Look over there! Why, there must be a hundred men in the street. Why don't you leave me here, at Captain Maisterton's? Why don't you, sir? I'll be safe with him."

Patrick leaned forward and rapped sharply on the wood. "Stop here," he shouted.

The coach lurched to a stop before a large stone house. Patrick had the door open, and Anne jumped out, running up the steps ahead of him.
"You will be safe here," he agreed. He was hammering on the door as he spoke. "Curse Bothwell. I wager he's nowhere near the city."

"I warrant he isn't either." breathed Anne, staring up at the big doors. Would he be here, the impudent knave? The door swung open. "Goodbye, Patrick," she said hastily. "I'll be safe!" She banged the door shut and turned to face the amazed man who had opened it for her.

It was very still inside the house. The nosies from the street seemed muted and far away. She couldn't even hear the bells. "You may tell Captain Maisterton I wish to speak with him."

The hall was dark and narrow; the man before her, although not tall, was powerfully built, and - she had to look twice to believe it - he carried a pistol in one hand.

"Captain Maisterton is busy, madam," said Gibson, staring with unconcealed interest at her legs. "You will have to wait."
"Dolthead," Anne said distantly, using Patrick's expression for any erring servitor. "Take me to him."
Gibson looked amazed. "Madam," he expostulated vainly, for Anne was already starting down the hall.

He caught up to her in two long strides. "Madam, the Captain does not wish to be disturbed." They had passed two doors and Gibson was hesitating before a third. Anne could hear the murmur of men's voices.
"Knock," she ordered, indicating the door.

Gibson said firmly, "I'll knock, but his Lordship, I mean Captain Maisterton, does not want to be disturbed, I told you." He leaned forward and knocked on the door.

Inside the room, Bothwell stopped talking; he listened, frowning. "It must be Gibson," he murmured. "Is it something important?" he called.

At the sound of his voice Anne brushed by Gibson before he had time to stop her. She flung open the door.

Bothwell jumped to his feet. He glared at her, a frown on his face, for he had been about to swear vehemently at Gibson, who now said quickly, "She pushed past me, my Lord!"

Anne moved to one side; she raised her violet eyes to Bothwell's face. He was so different from the last time she had seen him, and she had forgotten how very tall he was, how wide his shoulders. He was clean-shaven now; she could see the slight hollows beneath his cheekbones. But his smile was the same; it was as delighted and guilty as when he had teased her in the garden and now he said the very thing Patrick had. "Kilts!"

Captain Maisterton had risen too; he was staring at Anne with astounded eyes. Anne smiled at him sweetly. "Good afternoon, Captain."
Bothwell didn't give him time to answer. "Shut the door, Gibson, and for God's sake let no more wenches into this house."
Anne transferred her gaze to Bothwell. "Well, my lord, I hardly did recognize you."
He grinned. "I hardly knew you either, lass. I had not seen those knees before."
Anne ignored him; she looked at the dining-table, littered with trenchers of bread and meat and tankards of ale. "Will you sit, madam?" asked the Captain belatedly.
"Thank you, sir." Anne sat in the chair he pulled out, and Bothwell sat down too, beside her.
"Lassie, do you follow me?" he asked, leaning towards her, his elbows on the table.

Anne put her own elbows on the table. She was about to make a withering retort when Bothwell laid one finger on her chin. "Does it still hurt?"
"You brute," she said angrily. "How did you dare to hit me!"
He said seriously, "Madam, I was escaping from prison. I did not want any little tongues wagging that night. Not even your wee red tongue. Would you like to stick it out at me?"
"Aye, that I would! I - "
"You cannot think of any names bad enough for me. I told you I should not ask you to forgive me, either." He reached for his ale and drank it off. "You'll pardon me, madam, if I continue my meal. Would you fill this for me?" He pointed to a jug of ale, and then cut himself a piece of meat, following it with a chunk of cheese that he was evidently enjoying.

Anne glared at him. But she poured his ale. "There you are, my lord."
"Thank you, lass. Now would you serve me the mustard?"
"Certainly," she snapped. "And will you have the vinegar?"
"I do not use vinegar," he answered, smearing mustard on his beef. There was a strained silence, in which Anne's eyes spat fire at Bothwell eating solemnly. Captain Maisterton forgot his food and stared at both of them. Finally Bothwell said, "Why not join me, lassie?"

Anne started to say she wasn't hungry; she changed her mind. "I think I will," she replied, very politely, and he passed her a platter of meat and pushed the bread between the two of them.
"Perhaps you would ask for some wine for me," she went on, in the same nonchalant tone he was using.

He looked at her and smiled, and Anne looked down at her plate, but she let her eyes stray to his big hands. The Captain poured a cup of wine for her; he passed it to Bothwell, who set it in front of her.
"Thank you, my lord," she said, tasting her wine. She tried a piece of cheese, and addressed herself to Maisterton. "Captain, I warrant you wonder why I intruded, sir. Sir Patrick left me here; he was on his way to the docks, and he did not want to leave me in the coach , at the waterfront."

Bothwell smiled. "That is my fault, madam. It is I who should apologize to the Captain. I no longer hear those bells, though." He was silent, listening.
"They have stopped," said Anne. "I cannot hear them now."
Bothwell nodded. "So that when I'm ready to enter Edinburgh the alarm will be over." He was pleased with the thought and ate the last bit of meat on his plate.

Anne forgot how badly her head had ached. "Edinburgh!" she cried. "Oh, my lord, you can't go to Edinburgh! You'll be killed!"
She didn't think he even heard her; he was chewing his meat in an abstracted manner and wiping the last bit of mustardy gravy off his plate with a piece of bread. Then he said, "Lass, do not worry your bonnie head over me."

Anne studied him covertly, her eyes sliding from the very top of his dark head to the big boots that were so near to her own feet.
He had turned towards Maisterton.
"Captain, I've enjoyed your hospitality. When I came, I did not know I was outlawed, but pledge you my word you won't suffer for this."
Maisterton said earnestly, "My lord, we served under the Hepburn banners at Otterburne and we'll continue to serve!"
Then he cleared his throat, and rose. "Shall I tell Gibson you are ready to ride, my lord?"
Bothwell nodded assent, and Anne whispered, as the door closed, "Was the battle of Otterbourne long ago, my lord?"
"Over two hundred years ago." He had loosened his coat at dinner; now he fastened it. She watched his fingers, watched him pick up his sword and belt and buckle it on.
"Your Lordship, you shouldn't go! Ah, I mean it! You shouldn't go!"

He looked down at her, she had pushed back her chair and got up, and she had put her hands out to him appealingly. "Lassie, I told you not to worry your bonnie head over me. But you can do something for me, if you will. You can remember not to tell anyone you saw me here, today. You see, the Captain may be in a wee bit of trouble over me."
"A wee bit of trouble?"
"Like hanging. For shielding or receiving an outlaw." He smiled, and at her expression of fright, he said, "Now I have worried you again, have I not? But you leave this to me, and tell no one I was here today. I'll vow it to you, lass, no harm will come to the Captain!"

The Border Lord
Jan Westcott
Sampson Low, Marston & Co., Ltd
pp. 53-58

Register of the Privy Council of Scotland

Vol V. 1592-99.

4 May 1594, Edinburgh

Allane Coultis of Wester Rossyith for Robert and James Maistertonis, sons of Alexander Maistertoun of Baith, 500 merks each, to keep ward in burgh of Edinburgh till freed by his Majesty, - the said father and sons becoming sureties in relief.

The Register of the Privy Council of Scotland
edited and abridged by David Masson, LLD
Vol V (1592-1599), p. 618
HM General Register House
Edinburgh, 1882

Register of the Privy Council of Scotland

Vol V. 1592-99.

14 May 1594, Edinburgh

Allane Coultis of Wester Rossyith for Robert and James Maistertonis, sons of Alexander Maistertoun of Baith, 500 merks each, not to reset or intercommune with any of the King's declared traitors and rebels, and to answer to any inquiries before the King and Council when required.

The Register of the Privy Council of Scotland
edited and abridged by David Masson, LLD
Vol V (1592-1599), p. 620
HM General Register House
Edinburgh, 1882

Calendar of the State Papers Relating to Scotland
and Mary, Queen of Scots, 1547-1603

Vol XI. 1593-95.

17 September 1594, Edinburgh

366. Instructions from Robert Bowes to Christopher Sheperson. 17th September 1594.

...On Saturday last, the 14th, Mr. Allan Orme, servant to Bothwell, was taken in Edinburgh by William Hume, brother of Sir George. There were found with him both sundry memorials, specifying divers especial matters of importance to be done by several persons of quality, and also many letters. Many weighty effects are thus discovered. Hereby it was known that Bothwell was then presently in Edinburgh and the houses of his lodging and receipt were revealed. Whereupon search was made for him, chiefly at the house of Mr. James Henderson, already banished this town for a time for Bothwell's receipt. While the officers were breaking open the doors, the Earl escaped out at a back window and has now passed over the water (as it is said) into Fife. There are also apprehended John Barton of Edinburgh, goldsmith, and his wife, William Allen of Leith, writer, and one Anderson, servant to Bothwell.1 All these have been straitly examined, and thereon declared many persons and matters. Captain Orocke,2 the grant of whose pardon the ambassador for the States had once obtained, and Captain Masterton are accused, and some [are] likely to suffer death.

By the sight of the memorials and letters with Orme, and by the confession of the parties taken and examined by the King himself and others, it is found (as generally it is reported) that Bothwell had provided 120 borderers, Niddry gathered 40 about Edinburgh, Captain Hackerston 40, Orme, Pennicuik and Abircromby, servants to Bothwell, 50 ; that Bothwell with these companies should have entered Holyrood house on Saturday last in the night, have killed thirty-three persons named, sparing none until they should come to the King, who should have been carried unto and kept captive in Blackness, or else upon his resistance or refusal should have been slain ; that six persons were appointed to attend only on the slaughter of Sir George Hume ; that after- wards the two ambassadors for the States should have been taken and delivered to the King of Spain, and that all these things were defeated by the apprehension of Orme. It is further confessed that the Papist lords were come into Angus awaiting the success of this action and ready to have come with their horsemen and seconded the enterprise done. Orme and Allen being appointed to have been tried yesterday by assize were first carried to the Castle to be examined by torture of the boots. What they have confessed is not yet known. But many, yea, courtiers of especial quality are spotted herein. Bothwell's lands and livings are given away. Lord Hume has got Coldingham and Crichton ; Buccleuch has got Liddisdale, Hailes, Morham, Traprain and Markell ; Cessford has obtained Kelso and Sprouston. These patentees have promised to keep Bothwell out of the Borders of [Scot]land, or to apprehend or kill him if he shall come hither. Johnstone has agreed to join with them, and the King has written in very kind [m]anner to the principal persons in all the three Marches to assist those commissioners for the apprehension of Bothwell.

Bothwell's friends in Edinburgh, Leith, and parts adjoining are so dis- covered, " wracked " and terrified that they dare deal no more with him, and the gentlemen in Fife are in like case. Whereby it is gathered that Bothwell has now no power to raise any forces to attempt hastily any new and forcible enterprise, and thai be shall be driven for his safety to resort to the Papist lords, who by his defeat are now accounted to be frustrated of their greatest hope.

It is said that James Douglas, Laird of Spott, and Mr. Thomas Cranstoun, now sojourning at Wark, or thereabouts, chiefly persuaded Bothwell both to this conference with the Papist lords and also to shake off Mr. John Colville, from whose knowledge all Bothwell's actions in these behalfs were (as I hear) kept close in regard that Mr. John utterly condemned the same, and whereupon no little dryness and alienation has fallen betwixt the Earl and him. Mr. John now seeks to provide for his own safety and peace, devoting still his faithful service to her Majesty; wherein he and his present estate ought to be graciously considered. The Papist lords seek to levy horsemen, offering greater wages than the King. They look (as I am informed) for money and forces from Dunkirk and for advertisement from Mr. Walter Lindsay; for the expedition of which things they have lately sent Ronn,3 servant to Errol. They have solicited sundry noblemen and gentlemen to "partye" them, or else to be neutrals. They purposed to have surprised [and] fortified the towns of St. Johnstone and Dundee, and thereon the [town]4 of Dundee keep very strong watch and ward. They have called their friends to know what they will do for them against the King or Argyll, and have recorded in writing the several answers. Many agree to aid against Argyll, but all in manner refuse to join with them against the King. It is generally deemed that these forfeited Earls will not resist the King, but resort to Caithness or flee by sea into foreign parts.

The young Laird of Purie Ogilvy has left the Papist Earls, and coming hither in secret seeks the King's licence to pass beyond sea upon caution for his good behaviour and that he shall not enter into practices against religion, the King or estate. His former company with the Earls holds him in suspicion, and hitherto hindereth the grant of his licence desired. He, John Ogilvy and other gentlemen5 suspected to follow and aid the forfeited lords, are charged to appear before the King and Council ; whereunto they have not yet obeyed. Ochiltree is in hope of his pardon, which shall be shortly granted if it shall be found that he was not privy to the enterprise at Holyroodhouse on Satur- day last. It is believed that he refused to agree with Huntly or the Papist lords; and hearing that Bothwell had undertaken to reconcile Huntly and him, he told Bothwell that he lost his labour therein. By the means of the Queen (as it is said) Johnstone is like to obtain his remission for the slaughter of Maxwell, and the Chancellor's furtherance of this suit to please the King is also likely to work a reconciliation betwixt the Queen and him. But Lord Hamilton will greatly storm hereat and hold himself very evil satisfied.

The ambassadors for the States to the King of Scots entered into their journey to the Court of England on the 16th instant, on which day they were warned of the plot to surprise them and deliver them to the King of Spain. They have moved the King and Council (as I hear) that the old league and amity betwixt the Low Countries and the Kings of Scotland may be renewed and confirmed, and sundry other motions are made by them to the King and this estate.

1 Compare the list given by Calderwood, v. 347.
2 The Harl. transcript spells this name as Knox.
3 Blank left for christian name.
4 This clause has been omitted in the Harl. trranscript.
5 On 30th September, John Ogilvy of Craig, John Ogilvy, apparent of Poury, and Mr. Walter Lindsay of Balgai were denounced rebels on failing to answer the charge of treason. (Reg. of Privy Council, v. 172.)

Calendar of the State Papers Relating to Scotland
and Mary, Queen of Scots, 1547-1603
Annie I Cameron (ed)
Vol XI (1593-1595), p. 445
HM General Register House
Edinburgh, 1936

Register of the Privy Council of Scotland

Vol V. 1592-99.

30 November 1594, Edinburgh

James Maistertoun, burgess of Edinburgh, for captain Robert Maistertoun, his brother, 1000, to depart this realm within 30 days hereof and in the meantime not to reset Frances, sometime Earl Bothwill.

The Register of the Privy Council of Scotland
edited and abridged by David Masson, LLD
Vol V (1592-1599), p. 641
HM General Register House
Edinburgh, 1882

The Scots Brigade in the Service of the United Netherlands

Vol I 1572-1697.

James Ferguson, Edinburgh, 1899

The War of Independence, 1572-1609.

page 29: In 1599 the foot companies were again filled up, so that each company consisted of 150 men, and the colonel's company of 200, while among new cornets of cavalry was one of 'Hamilton Escossois.' An attempt was made in that year to secure Nimeguen for the Spaniards by the exiled Earl of Bothwell, who was at Brussels. He had secured two agents, one of them at least apparently a Scot, Robert Lungden (Lundin), and they relied upon corrupting Captain Masterton, who was in the town with four companies of Scots, and who had 'been of the faction of the Earl of Bothwell in Scotland.' But Masterton discovered the affair, and Lungden was decapitated at the Hague, 'regretting much to have undertaken such a design.'


page 61:

Pay on Holland
Thos. Maesterton5 quarter master of the Scots, usually 36 when with the army, 14 additional here . . . . . 36
Extraordinary pay, when with the army
Capn Meesterton qr mr of the Scottish Regt, with the army 14 guilders monthly, additional pay, facit for 6 months . . . 84

5 Thomas Masterton, see p. 29. Appointed quartermaster in 1597. - Records of Holland.

page 62:

Pay on Holland Wardens
Thos. Meisterton qr mr of the Scots ordinary, 36, when with the army, 14 more, here the ordinary . . . 36 0 0
Extraordinary Pay when with the Army
Capn Maesterton being with the army 14 monthly above the ordinary pay, facit for 6 months . . . 84 0 0

page 71:

Holland Foot
Pay on Holland

Col. Brogh . . . . . 400
Lt Col. of the Scots . . . . .100
Pensions and Endowments
Wardens and Quarter Masters
Robert Maesterton, qr mr of the Scots, above 14 when in the field . . . . . .50 0 0
Extraordinary Pay when in the Army
The following items are only to be charged during the operations in the field, offensive or defensive:
Robert Maesterton, qr mr of the Regt of Col. Brogh, in addition to his ordinary pay 14 per month for six months. . . . .84 0 0

page 73:

Holland Foot
Pensions and Endowments on Holland

Wardens and Quarter Masters
Robt maesterton, qr mr of the Scots, 40 when in the field . . . . . .50 0 0

page 74:

Footsoldiers paid by Holland

Robert Mesterton, qr mr Col. Brogh . . . . .50 0 0

The Time of the Twelve Years' Truce, 1609-21.


page 227-8:

Rendered in August
Hollandt. Foot
Col. Brogh for his person,. . . . . .400 0 0
Wardens and Quartermansters
Robert Mesterton qr mr of Col. Brogh, . . . . 50 0 0

page 229:

The list of officers (under Guelderland and Holland) is similar, and under Guelderland occurs 'Pension - Juff: Anna van Lieven, widw van Capn Arthur Stuart (yearly), 75.'

page 229-30:

Holland. Foot
Pay on Holland

Col. Brough, for his person. . . . . .400
Allane Coutes, Lt-Col., . . . 100
Col. Henderson, . . . .300
Francois Henderson, Lt-Col., . . . 100
Hacquet, st major, . . . .80
Blaire, qr mr, . . . . 50
Michel Henderson, Provost m., . . . . 50
Wardens and Quartermasters
Robert Mesterton, qr mr, . . . . 50 0 0

Editor's note: No mention of Mastertons in 1618 and 1619.

The Thirty Years' War, 1621-1648.


page 318-320:

Holland. Infantry
Willem Drominert, Sergeant Majoor van't regiment van Brogh . . . 80
Robert Mesterton Quaertier mr van Colonel Brogh. . . .50

page 330-2:

Succession of Officers, 1621-1642
The list which follows gives the succession of the captains of the different companies, and of the field officers. It shows the officer commanding each company in 1621, with the date of his commission and those who succeeded him down to 1642, with the dates of appointment.

Holland. Foot
1606 Col. Brogh. . . . 200 men 2612
James Williamson, capn of 118 men, March 14th 1636.
George Hume, Nov. 17th, 1637.
Henry Hume, April 23rd, 1642.

1600 Allane Coutis. . . . 150 men 2014
George Kier, May 14th, 1631, of 118 men, the balance to Sandelandis.

Pay on Holland
Wardens and Quartermasters
Robert Mesterton, qr of Col. Brogh. . . . 5 (sic) - should be 50
Wm Pentlant, Oct 22nd, 1630.
John Siordes, March 12th, 1632.
Wm Olphinston, Oct. 17th, 1642.

Papers Illustrating the History of the Scots Brigade
in the Service of the United Netherlands 1572-1782
James Ferguson (ed)
Vol I (1572-1697)
pp. 14, 29, 40, 61, 62n, 71-74, 228, 230, 320, 333
Edinburgh University Press
Edinburgh, 1899

Patrick Cooper became cautioner for James Spittall of Lucheld and Andrew Murray for Alexander Spittall of Blair and Gavin Stanhouse for Henry Dick. Not to molest Robert, William and Thomas Masterton, brothers. 1000 each for the Spittalls and 500 merks for HD. The Spittalls and HD also to compear in the tolbooth the next morning to be tried for troublance committed this day within peace of the fair in said William Masterton's house.
John Anderson jnr cautioner for Patrick Drummond of Lenoth not to molest R, W and TM. Troublance committed same place and time.
Henry Turnbull cautioner in 1000 for William Masterton
Gavin Stanhouse in 1000 for Thomas Masterton
not to molest the Spittalls and HD.

Dunfermline Court and Council Records 1619-32
Troublance, peace of fair.
1st March, 1620

Gilbert Sanders proc fisc accused James Spittall of Luchill, Alexander Spittall of Blair, Patrick Drummond of Lenoth and Alexander Campbell of troubling, invading and pursuing Robert, William and Thomas Masterton in WM's house yesterday, within proclamation of the fair.
James Spittall alleged that coming to WM's house yesterday to get a drink, R,W and TM entered together at table and by reason of some language that mxxlenit between WM and Henry Dick the Mastertons left the table, went into a chamber and thereafter rashed at the door to have dung up the same of purpose to have invaded them.
Patrick Drummond alleged that after he had left the company and being on his horseback, he was desired again to light for satling of apparent danger between the said parties and as he came up the stair he met the said RM coming down out of the house. Always when the said Patrick entered he perceived TM to have a sword and whinger drawn in his hand, with which said Patrick was hurt in his hand as he closed with said TM, intending only to have hindered evil.
Henry Dick alleged that after evil language uttered by RM and his brother, said Thomas was earnest in preventing him, first saying If he durst fight him and that he had a drawn sword and a dagger and that he received much evil and provocative language of the said William and Thomas Masterton.
Alexander Campbell alleged that he saw three drawn swords in the house.

William Masterton alleged that after Robert and Thomas M went out of the house where they were, the Laird of Blair started up in a fury and desiring him to be sober the said Laird of Blair struck him with his hand twice on the breast and denies that he uttered any evil language towards Henry Dick.
Thomas Masterton alleged that he came in a friendly manner where the Lairds of Luchall and Blair were at table and that he came back again without doing offence to any of them. Only confessed he exchanged some evil language with Henry Dick and thereafter when he was hurt in the face and hand, by whom he knows not, he drew his sword.

Assise finds RM to have been the first mover of troublance by coming in where the Laird of Luchell, Laird of Blair and their company were sitting at table and there upon his own particular by moving evil language of Henry Dick, whereupon there followed the whole evil underwritten.
Convicts him of troublance and fines him and orders him to asyth the Lairds of L and B and Patrick Drummond in the presence of the magistrates.
Finds WM in his drunken humour to have pressed to a sword and being hindered therefrom, by some women, cried to his brother, "Fie beast, draw thy sword and let none of them out". Convicted of troublance and of drunkenness. Fined for both. Also in the wrong to the persons aformentioned.
Finds TM to have drawn his sword and whinger, pressing therewith to be on where the laird of Blair was, of intention to have invaded them and that the said Patrick Drummond hindering him therefrom, through his striking, the said Patrick's hands were hurt be the said Thomas' sword. Convicted of troublance and fined, and in the wrong to the above and to asyth them.
Finds Alexander Campbell to have drawn a sword and pressed to strike Thomas M with it. Fined for troublance.
Finds the laird of L not to have troubled any person nor made motion of troublance.
Finds the laird of B not to have troubled William M, notwithstanding of struggling between them, in respect of his oath that he did nothing of set purpose nor in violence towards him.
Absolves Patrick Drummond of troublance because he did nothing but good offices and hindered evil and only a redder between the said parties.
Absolves Henry Dick, David and Alexander Kinndid of troublance in respect of their oath that they neither drew sword nor made any occasion of troublance.
The above fines, totalling 23, were relented by the magistrates to 18.

Thereafter, in regard the ground whereupon the miscontentment intervened between the Lairds of L and B is concerning a pairt in the kirk of Beath designed by the commissioners and kirk session thereof to the said lairds for erecting a seat to them thereinto, whereto the said RM pretends right as having warrant of the Earl of Moray so to do. And that through occasion of the evil abovewritten followed. Therefore, and for the more satisfaction of the said lairds and others injured therethrough, the said RM compearing, gave up any right he might have to that part of the said kirk and remits the same into the hands of the lairds of L and B to be erected, built and possessed by them in all time coming at their pleasure.

Dunfermline Court and Council Records 1619-32
Troublance, reported speech.
2nd March, 1620

Provost gave in a complaint against William Masterton for misbehaving himself to the provost on 1 March, he being come to stop and prevent evil likely to fall out between the lairds of Luchett (James Spittall), Blair (Alexander Spittall) and some other in their company and Robert Masterton, said William and Thomas M their brother, by saying, "What devil came in for provost". WM comp and repented of saying same and put himself in the provost's will.

(the following deleted in ms)
And likewise because the evil fell out partly through drunkenness and partly otherwise and therefore discharges the said William Masterton from brewing or venting any beer in time coming, he having always left to him his looms.

Dunfermline Court and Council Records 1619-32
Troublance, lairds involved in.
3rd March, 1620

Robert Masterton to pay William Brown in Inverkeithing 12.

Dunfermline Court and Council Records 1619-32
5th December, 1622

Mr James Durie absolved from the but for niffering of the horse(s) with Robert Masterton and from giving back the grey nag alleged insufficient and from the 50 merks alleged given by RM to him and from 36 for the 2 oxen alleged bought by him from said RM. Oath.

Dunfermline Court and Council Records 1619-32
Horse unsound
10th July, 1628

James Kellock absolved from 23 merks 6/8d claimed by Robert Masterton for rent of the lands of Muirtoun of Beath, Mart and Whit 1628. And from the 6 poultry kain fowls and 24s for the ham and shear dargs of said lands. Oath.

Dunfermline Court and Council Records 1619-32
shear dargs
12th December, 1628

Robert Masterton to pay David Kerr 6 for a dead kist made at command of said Robert for late David Durie and for a barrel of ale. William Masterton became cautioner for payment.

Dunfermline Court and Council Records 1619-32
27th March, 1629

Robert Stirk, cautioner for entry of James Kellock, is to pay William Masterton, assignee of Robert Masterton, a saddle lent by him to said James. Or 3.

Dunfermline Court and Council Records 1619-32
27th March, 1629

With thanks to Sue Mowat who provided the extracts from Dunfermline's Records.