Henry VIII, the Reign
Letters & Papers: Volume 19 Part 1
Hertford to Henry VIII
Has this day received the Council's letters of the 10th, showing that, having weighed the sequel of this enterprise against Scotland, the King has, for considerations expressed in the said letters, resolved that Hertford shall forbear fortifying Legh, but put it and Edinburgh and other towns thereabouts to sack, fire and sword, rase Edinburgh castle if that may be done without long tarrying, and afterwards make like spoil in Fyfe, especially at St. Andrews. Is ready to spend his life in doing this, but, if he may say it, his opinion is that, if Legh may be fortified and made tenable within convenient time, it shall be more honour to the King and annoyance to his enemies to fortify and keep it, for which all provision is made and the charges thereof past, than only to destroy and burn; for, it being their chief port, the King shall have a good entry into Scotland and, by stopping fishing and traffic, force the town of Edinburgh and country round to fall to his devotion, and also keep out all their aid from France and elsewhere. This would also encourage Lenoux to come in; who must needs condescend to the King's terms, for he knows that the French king cannot trust him, and the "title of Scotland" prevents his ever agreeing with the Governor, so that the King may have Donbretayn of him, and, holding it and Legh, the King shall in time force all on this side the Fryth to become subjects. Can leave Legh victualled for three months, and it may, with little charge, be revictualled once a month from Be
rwick; and two or three little barks appointed to remain here would both serve for that purpose and defend this coast from pirates and other enemies. Besides, the country about Legh might be forced by the garrison to bring in victuals, as the Scots, notwithstanding the wars, daily bring victuals to Berwick. It is supposed that a great number in Scotland would aid the King's army if they saw he intended to have a foot within the realm, whereas fire and sword would put all to utter despair. It may be that the inhabitants of Edinburgh will yield the town and castle. Begs to know how to proceed. Would grieve to see the King's treasure employed only in devastating two or three towns and a little country which would soon recover. Perceives that, after burning Legh and Edinburgh, he is to pass into Fife Land. and destroy St. Andrews. St. Andrews is 20 miles from the other side of the water against Legh, so that the army must march thither on foot, carrying the ordnance, or else they must sail back to the mouth of the Fryth and so about the coast to St. Andrews, where it is doubtful whether there is landing for the army and ordnance. Newcastle, 12 April.
P.S.—Encloses a letter he has received from Sir Ralph Evre, showing that the garrisons annoy the enemies. At closing this, received the letters herewith from Wharton and Penvan, answering his concerning the practise for Temptallon; for which he has also written to the Master of Morton, Sir Geo. Douglas's son, and practised with the captain of Temptallon, and expects by Monday night to have some good answer therein. The Swepestake is now ready to go to sea to-morrow, and is as good as ever she was. Signature mutilated and faded.