Owing to the Cornish rebellion James had for a time escaped retribution for his infraction of the truce in the preceding year; and, just after sending Warbeck away, he proceeded to besiege Norham Castle on the Tweed. The Earl of Surrey, however, whom Henry had some years before appointed lieutenant of the North, hastened to its relief, and James was obliged to retire. Surrey then advanced into the Borders, destroyed some fortresses and took the castle of Ayton, where (September 30,1497) by the mediation of the Spanish Ambassador, Pedro de Ayala, another seven years' truce was arranged between the two countries, with a stipulation, to which both kings afterwards agreed, that matters in dispute between them should be referred to Spanish arbitration. Spain had a very deep interest in promoting friendly relations between England and Scotland, in order that the former country might still be a check upon France; and Ayala was a most efficient instrument in the reconciliation. Next year, an unfortunate incident on the Borders threatened for a moment to disturb the new settlement. Some Scotchmen visiting Norham Castle in armour created suspicion. Haughty words led to blows, and the Scots fled. The English, too, killed a number of Scots, apparently in some raid which followed. But both sovereigns were so anxious to preserve the peace that the matter was satisfactorily arranged by Bishop Fox, who was sent to James at Melrose, and who there apparently concluded with him a long-talked-of project for his marriage with Henry's daughter Margaret.
Henry had now seemingly surmounted his most serious difficulties; but there were still troubles in store for him. Before relating these, however, something must be said of his remarkable success in the pacification of Ireland. How, it will be asked, had that country, after supporting Lambert Simnel with such strange enthusiasm and unanimity in 1487, become so loyal ten years later that hardly the slightest Irish encouragement was then afforded to Perkin Warbeck? This result was certainly due to a patience and sagacity on the King's part, characteristic of that "politic governance" for which he bore so high a name among princes. Even after the victory of Stoke he could not afford to punish Simnel's adherents in Ireland, who were virtually the whole Irish people. In 1488, the year after Simnel's coronation, he sent Sir Richard Edgecombe to Ireland, to receive the submissions of Kildare and the other Irish lords, and administer oaths of allegiance; and it required great adroitness in the envoy to succeed in such a mission. They took the oath, however, and Kildare was continued as Lord Deputy. But new Yorkist plots were brewing in England, and, in order to be safe as regards Ireland, Henry desired to win Kildare over to a personal interview with him. He sent him a private message promising great favours if he would come, with a renewal of the dignity of Lord Deputy for ten years; and he also wrote to him on July 28, 1490, expressly desiring his presence within ten months. But all