Treaty of Berwick

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At Berwick, the twenty-seventh day of February, the year of our Lord God one thousand five hundred and fifty-nine years;[3] it is appointed and finally contracted betwixt the noble and mighty prince, Thomas duke of Norfolk, earl Marshal of England, and lieutenant to the queen's most excellent majesty of the said realm in the north, in the name and behalf of her highness on the one part, and the right honourable lord James Stewart, Patrick lord Ruthven, Sir John Maxwell of Teregles, knight, William Maitland of Lethington younger, John Wiseheart of Pittarrow, and Mr Henry Balnaves of Hallhill, in name and behalf a noble and mighty prince James, duke of Chatelherault, second person of the realm of Scotland, and the remanent lords of his part, joined with him in this cause, for the maintenance and defence of the ancient rights and liberties of their country on the other part, in form as hereafter follows: that is to say, that the queen's majesty having sufficiently understood, as well by information sent from the nobility of Scotland, as by the proceedings of the French, that they intend to conquer the realm of Scotland, suppress the liberty thereof, and unite the same unto the crown of France perpetually, contrary to the laws of the same realm, and the pactions, oaths, and promises of France; and being thereto most humbly and earnestly required by the said nobility, for, and in the name of the whole realm, shall accept the said realm of Scotland, the said duke of Chatelherault being declared, by act of Parliament in Scotland to be heir apparent to the crown thereof, and the nobility and subjects thereof into her majesty's protection and maintenance, only for preservation of the same in their old freedoms and liberties, and from conquest, during the time that the marriage shall continue betwixt the queen of Scots and the French king, and one year after. And for expelling out of the same realm of such as presently and apparently goeth about to practise the said conquest, her majesty shall with all speed send into Scotland a convenient aid of men of war on horse and foot, to join with the power of Scotsmen, with artillery, munition, and all other instruments of war meet for the purpose, as well by sea as by land and not only to expel the present power of French within that realm oppressing the same, but also to stop, as far as conveniently may be, all greater forces of French to enter therein for the like purpose; and shall continue her majesty's aid to the said realm, nobility, and subjects of the same, unto the time the French be utterly expelled thence: and shall never transact, compone, nor agree with the French, nor conclude any league with them, except the Scots and the French shall be agreed, that the realm of Scotland may be left in a due freedom by the French; nor shall leave the maintenance of the said nobility and subjects, whereby they might fall as a prey into their enemies' hands, as long as they shall acknowledge their sovereign lady and queen, and shall endeavour themselves to maintain the liberty of their country, and the estate of the crown of Scotland. And if in case any forts or strengths within the realm be won out of the hands of the French at this present, or at any time hereafter by her majesty's aid, the same shall be immediately demolished by the Scotsmen, or delivered to the said duke and his party foresaid at their option and choice; neither shall the power of England fortify within the ground of Scotland, being out of the bounds of England, but by the advice of the said duke, nobility, and estates of Scotland. For the which causes, and in respect of her majesty's most genteel clemency and liberal support, the said duke and all the nobility, as well such as be now joined, as such as shall hereafter join with him, for defence of the liberty of that realm, shall to the uttermost of their power, aid and support her majesty's army against the French and their partakers, with horsemen and footmen, and with victuals, by land and by sea, and with all manner of other aid to the best of their power, and so shall continue during the time that her majesty's army shall remain in Scotland.

Item [I]. They shall be enemies to all such Scotsmen and French, as shall in anyways show themselves enemies to the realm of England, for the aiding and supporting the said duke and nobility, to the delivery of the realm of Scotland from conquest.

Item [II]. They shall never assent nor permit, that the realm of Scotland shall be conquered, or otherwise knit to the crown of France, than it is at this present only by marriage of the queen their sovereign to the French king, and by the laws and liberties of the realm, as it ought to be.

Item [III]. In case the Frenchmen shall at any time hereafter invade, or cause be invaded the realm of England, they shall furnish the number of two hundred horsemen, and one thousand footmen, at the least, or such part of either of them, at the choice of the queen's majesty of England; and shall conduct the same to pass from the borders of Scotland next England, upon her majesty's charges, to any part upon the realm of England, for the defence of the same. And in case the invasion be upon the north parts of England, on the north part of the water of Tyne, towards Scotland, or against Berwick, on the north side of the water of Tweed, they shall convene and gather their whole forces upon their own charges, and shall join with the English power, and shall continue in good and earnest pursuit of the quarrel of England, during the space of thirty days, or so much longer as they were accustomed to remain in the fields for the defence of Scotland, at the commandment of their sovereigns, at any time by past. And also the earl of Argyle, lord justice of Scotland, being presently joined with the said duke, shall employ his force and good will, where he shall be required by the queen's majesty, to reduce the north parts of Ireland to the perfect obedience of England, conform to a mutual and reciprocal contract, to be made betwixt her majesty's lieutenant, or depute of Ireland being for the time, and the said earl; wherein shall be contained what he shall do for his part, and what the said lieutenant, or depute, shall do for his support, in case he shall have to do with James Mackonell>, or any others of the isles of Scotland or realm of Ireland: for performance and sure keeping whereof, they shall for their part enter to the foresaid duke of Norfolk the pledges presently named by him, before the entry of her majesty's army within Scotland, to remain in England for the space of six months, and to be exchanged upon deliverance of new hostages of like or as good conditions as the former; or being the lawful sons, brethren, or heirs of any of the earls, or barons of parliament, that have, or hereafter shall show themselves and persist open enemies to the French in this quarrel, and so forth from six months to six months, or four months to four months, as shall best please the part of Scotland. And the time of the continuance of the hostages shall be during the marriage of the queen of Scots to the French king, and one year after the dissolution of the same marriage, until farther order may be had betwixt both the realms for peace and concord.

And, furthermore, the said duke, and all the nobility, being earls and barons of the parliament, joined with him, shall subscribe and seal these articles and counts, within the space of twenty or thirty days at the uttermost, next following the day of the delivery of the said hostages; and shall also procure and persuade all others of the nobility that shall join themselves hereafter with the said duke, for the causes above specified, likewise to subscribe and seal these articles, at any time after the space of twenty days after their conjunction, upon requisition made by them on the part of the queen's majesty of England.

And, finally, the said duke, and nobility joined with him, certainly perceiving, that the queen's majesty of England is thereunto moved only upon respect of princely honour and neighbourhood, for the defence of the freedom of Scotland from conquest, and not of any other sinister intent, do, by these presents, testify and declare, that they, nor any of them, mean by this compt to withdraw any due obedience to their sovereign lady the queen, nor in any lawful thing to withstand the French king, her husband and head, that during the marriage shall not tend to the subversion and oppression of the just and ancient liberties of the said kingdom of Scotland; for preservation whereof, both for their sovereign's honour, and for the continuance of the kingdom in ancient estate, they acknowledge themselves bound to spend their goods, lands, and lives. And for performance of this present contract for the part of England, the queen's majesty shall confirm the same, and all clauses therein contained, by her letters patent, under the great seal of England, to be delivered to the nobility of Scotland, upon the entrance of the pledges aforesaid within the ground of England.

In witness whereof, the said duke's grace of Norfolk has subscribed these presents, and thereunto has affixed his seal, the day, year, and place foresaid.

In witness whereof, the commissioners for the duke of Chatelherault and the nobility of Scotland before named have subscribed these presents, and thereunto has affixed their seals, the day the day, year, and place foresaid:[1]

James Stewart,
Patrick lord Ruthven,
Sir John Maxwell,
William Maitland,
John Wiseheart,
Henry Balnaves.

Scottish subscriptions[edit]

[The] contract we find honest, reasonable, and that our said commissioners therein have considerately respected the commonwealth of this realm, of us and our posterity; and, therefore, do ratify, allow, confirm, and approve the same, with all clauses and articles therein contained, by these presents. In witness hereof, to the same, subscribed with our hands, our seals of arms, in like cases accustomed, are appended. At the camp, forenent Leith, the tenth day of May, 1560 years:[2]

The Duke of Chattelherault,
Earl of Arran,
Earl of Huntly,
Earl of Glencairn,
Earl of Morton,
Earl of Rothes,
Earl of Monteith,
Earl of Argyle,
Lord Ogilvie,
Lord Borthwick,
Lord James Stewart,
Lord of St John,
Lord John of Aberbrothock.
Lord Boyd,
Lord Sommerville,
Lord Ochiltree,
Lord Robert Stewart,
Alexander Gordon,
Gatin Hamilton, of Kilwinning,
James Stewart of St Colm's-inch,
Abbot of Kinloss,
Abbot of Culross.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Stuart, Gilbert (1780). The history of the establishment of the reformation of religion in Scotland. J. Murray. p. 239–243. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 Knox, John; M'Gavin, William (1831). The history of the reformation of religion in Scotland. Blackie, Fullarton, & Co. pp. 190–193. 
  3. Under the Julian calendar as used in England and Scotland the start of year was then 25 March, but with a start of year of 1 January the date was 27 February 1560 (see Old Style and New Style dates).