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EXPEDICION IN SCOTLANDE.
THERE are few rarer Tracts in English Literature than this, of which, I believe, no more than two copies are known. It exhibits an extraordinary example of the increase of the price of books.
At the sale of Mr. West's books a copy sold for eighteen shillings and six-pence; at Mr. Woodhouse's sale, in December 1803, a copy was purchased for the Duke of Roxburgh at the enormous price of sixteen guineas.
The curiosity of the Tract itself, added to its extreme rarity, seems to justify my giving an extract.
The title is as follows:
Made by the Kinges Army under the Conduit of the Ryght Honorable the Erle of Hertforde, the Yere of oure Lorde God.
Cum privilegio ad imprimendum solum."
“The late Expedition in Scotlande sent to the Ryght Honorable Lorde Russel Lorde Privie
Seale, Seale, from the Kynges armye there, by a frende
After long sojornynge (my verie good Lorde) of the Kynges Majesties armye an Newcastell for lacke of commodious windes, which longe hath ben at North Easte, and Easte North Easte : inoche to our griefe, as your Lordshyppe, I doubte not, knoweth. The same as God wolde who doth all thynges for ye best, the fyrst of Alaye the xxxvI Yeare of his Majestyes mooste prosperous raigne vered into the South, and Şouth South Weste, so apt and propice for our jorney, beying of every man so moch desyred, that it was no nede to haste them forwardes.
To be briefe, suche diligence was used that in two tydes the hole flete being two hundreth sayles at the least was out of the haven of Tyn, mouth towardes our Enterprice.
The thyrde day, after we arryved in ye Frith, a notable ryver in Scotlande, havyng thentry betwene tuo Islandes called the Basse and the Maye. The same daye we landed dyvers of our botes at a towne named S. Mynettes, on the Northe side of the Frith, which we brente and broughte from thense dyvers greate botes that served us afier to good pourpose for our landynge.
That nyghte thole fete came to an anker under ye Island called Inchekythe thre myles from the haven of Lyth. The place where we
ankered hath of longe tyme ben called the Englysh rode: ye Scottes nowe taketh the same to be a prophesie of the thinge which is hapened. The nexte daye beyng the fourth daye of May, the sayde armye landed two myles bewest the towne of Lithe, at a place called Grantame Cragge, every mā beyng so prompt thereunto that the liole armye was landed in foure houres. And
perceyvynge our landynge to be so quyet whiche we loked not for, havvinge our guides ready we put ourselfes in good ordre of warre, marchynge forwarde towardes the towne of Lythe in thre battaylles wherof my lorde Admyral ledde the vant-gaard, Therle of Shrewesbury Hareregarde, and Therle of Hertford beinge lorde Lieutenant the battayll, havynge with us certen small pieces of ariillary whiche were drawen by force of men : whiche enterpryse we thought necessarie to be attempted fyrste of all other for the commodyous lodgynge of our navy there and landynge of our artillerie and vittayle. And in a valley upon yo ryght hande nere unto the sayd towne the Scottes were assembled to the nonibre of five or syx thousande hoi semen, besydes a good nombre of fote men, to empeache the passage of our sayd armye, in which place they had layd theyr artyllarie at two strayghtes, through the whiche we must nedes passe yf we mynded to acheve our enterpryse. And semynge at the fyrste as though they wolde set
upõ the vanwarde, when they perceyved our men so wyllynge to encounter with them, namely the Cardynall who was there present, perceyving our devotion to se his bolynes to be suche as we were redy to wattè our feete for that purpose, and to passe a forde which was betwene us and them. After certen shotte of artyllary on both sydes they made a sodayne retrete and leavynge theyr artyllary behynde them fledde towardes Edenborrowe. The fyrst man that fledde was the holy Cardynall lyke a valyaunt Champyon, and with hym the Governer, therles of Huntley, Murrey, and Botbewell, and dyvers other great men of the realme. At this passage was two Englishmen hurt with the shot of theyr artyllary, and two Scottyshmen slayne with our artillary.
The vanwarde hauyng thus put backe the Scottes, and vin pieces of theyr artyllary brought away by our hackebetters, who in this enterprise dyd very manfully employ themselves, we marched directly towardes the towne of Lythe, whiche before we coulde come to it, muste of force passe an other passage, whiche also was defended a whyle with certen ensigns of fotemen and certen pieces of artyllary, who, beyng sharpely assayled havynge thre of theyr genners slayne with our archers, was fayne to gyve place, ieauyinge also theyr ordinaunce behynd them, with whiche ordinaunce they slewe onely one of vur men and hurte an other."
The Tract is of duodecimo size, in black letter, and at the end is
Imprynted at London, in Powls Churchyarde, by Reynolde Wolfe, at the Sygne of yo Brasen Serpent. Anno 1544.
Cum privilegio ad imprimnendum solum.”
I am indebted for the use of this curious and rare work to Mr. Isaac Reed, who bought it, if I am not mistaken, for half-a-crown.
It was reprinted at Edinburgh in 1798, with Fragments of Scotish History,