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Lord Edward Bruce, and Sir Edward Sackville 'Challenges (1613)'

British Library, Hargrave MS 226, ff. 244r-249v


Bruce et Sackvile

244v 245r

All the p[ro]cedinges concerninge the Combatt betwene the late deceased Lord Bruce and the then Sr Edward Sackvile, now Earle of Dorsett

A Mounseuire Mounsirere Sackvile.

I that am in ffraunce heare how much yow attribute to yor selfe in this time that I haue given the world leaue to ringe yor praise, for mee the true Alminacke to tell how much I suffer, and if yow call to Memory when I gaue yow my hand last, I tould yow I reserved the Heart for a truer Reconciliac[i]on, now by that Noble Gentleman, my Love once spoke, come and doe him Right that did mee Wronge bee Master of yor owne Weapons, and time the place wheresoever, I will waite on ye, by doeinge this yow shall shorten Revenge, and Cleere the idle Opinion the world hath of or Honnors. Edw. Bruce

A Monsire Mounserire le Baron de Kinlosse

As it shall bee allwayes farre from mee to seeke a Quarrell soe will I bee allwayes ready to meete with any that shall desire to make Tryall of my valor. by soe faire a Course as yow. 226v yow. Resire Require, a meanes whereof yor selfe shalbee, whoe within a Month shall receive a strict Account, of time, place and Weapon where yow shall finde mee ready disposed to giue yow hono[ura]ble Satisfacc[i]on by him that shall Conduct yow hither, In the meane time bee as secrett of the Appointment, as it seemes yow bee desirous of it. Ed. Sackvile.

A Mounsier Mounsier le Baron de Kinlosse

I am ready at Tergose a Towne in Zealand, to giue yow that Satisfacc[i]on yor swoord canne render yow accompanied with a worthy Gentleman for my second in degree a Knight, and for yor Com[m]inge I will not lymitt yow a p[er]emptory day, but desire yow to make a definite and speedy repaire for yor owne honnor, and feare of prvenc[i]on untill which time yow shall finde mee there. Ed. Sackvile. Tergosen 10th of August.

A Mouserire Mounseuire Sackuile

I have received yor Letter by yor man, and acknowledge yow have honorably dealt with mee and now I come with all possible hast to meete yow. Edw: Bruce

Sr. Edward Sackvills Relac[i]on beetwixt him and my Lord Bruce. Worthy246r Worthy Sr as I am not ignorant soe ought It bee as sensible of the faulse Aspertions autherlesse Tongues have left upon mee in the Report of the unfortunate passage which lately happened betwene my Lord Bruce, and my selfe wch as they are spread here soe I may iustly feare they reigne allsoe where yow are.

There but two wayes to Resolue doubt[es] of this nature, by Oath, or by swoord.

The first is due to Magestrates and Com[m]unicable the other to such as maliciously slandr., and impudently defere their owne Observac[i]on, yor Loue not my Merritt assures mee yow hold mee yor ffriend, which I esteeme, and { now } am much desirous to attaine, doe therefore the Right to understand the Truth of that, and in my beehalfe, whoe are or may bee infected with sinister Rumors much priudiciall to that faire Opinion I desire to hold amongst all worthy p[er]sons and on the faith of a Gentleman the Relac[i]on I shall giue, is neither more, or lesse then the beare Truth, The inclosed conteynes the first Insinuac[i]on sent mee from Paris by a Scottish Gentleman whoe deliv[er]ed it mee in Darbishire att my ffather in Lawes house.

After it, followes my Accomplishment of my first promise beeinge a p[ar]ticular Assignac[i]on of place 246v place, and Weapons, which I sent by a Servant of mine by Post from Rotterdam assoone as I landed there, the Receipt of which ioyned with the acknowledgement of my too faire a Carriage to the deceased Lord Bruce is testified by the last which periodd[es] the busines till wee mett at Ter{gossa[n] }, hee beeinge accompanied with one Mr. Cranfeild an English Gentleman for his second a Chirurgeon and a Man, whome hee sent with all speede hee could to mee, haueinge once tendred himselfe I addressed to my second Sr. John Heydon to lett him understand that now all thing[es] should bee done by Consent as concerninge the Termes whereon wee should fight, as allsoe the place by or second[es] wee gaue hower for these Appointment[es], whoe agreed wee should goe to Antwerpe[n] and from thence to Barginapsoone, where in the neerest way, but a Village devides the States Territoryes from the Archdukes, and there was the destined Stage to the end that haueinge ended hee that could might presently exempt himselfe from the Justice of the Country, by retourninge into the Dominion of the not offended

It was further Concluded that in Case any should fall, or slipp that then the Combate should 247r should Cease, and hee whose ill fortune had soe subiected him, was to acknowledge his life to have bin in the others hand[es], But in Case one p[ar]ty should breake his Weapon, because that may Come by Chance, or hazzard, It was agreed that the other should take noe Advantage, but either then bee made Frend[es], or else by new termes to goe it to it againe, thus theise Conclusions beeinge by each of them related to his parte were by both of us approved, and sent accordingly wee imbarqued for Antwerpe and by reason, my Lord (as I conceived, because he could not handsomly without danger of discovery had not repaired his swoord, I sent him from Paris one of the same Length but twice as broad, my second excepted against it and advised me to match mine owne, and send him the Choice, which I obeyed (beeinge as yow know the Challengers Priviledge to ellect the weapon att the deliv[er]y of the swoord[es] which was p[er]formed by Sr John Heydon, It pleased the Lord Bruce to make ellection of my Sword, and then past Expectac[i]on hee tould him, that hee found himselfe soe farre behinde hand, as a little of my blood would not serue his Tourne, And therefore hee was resolued to haue mee alone, because hee 247v hee knewe (for I will use his owne words) that soe worthy a Gentleman, and my friend could not induce to stand by, and see him to doe that which hee must to satisfy himselfe and his honnor; Hereunto Sr: John Heydon replyed, That such Intentions were bloody and butcherly farre unfittinge a Noble p[er]sonage whoe should desire to bleede for Reputac[i]on not for life, withall addinge hee thought himselfe iniured, beeinge come that farre to be p[ro]hibitted from executinge those honble. Offices hee Came for. The Lord for Answere reitterated his former Resoluc[i]on, Whereuppon Sr. John leavinge him the swoord hee had ellected Deliv[er]ed mee the other, with his Determinac[i]ons, the wch., not the matter, but manner (havinge eaten more liberally at dinner than usual) And therefore unfitt for such an Acc[i]on seeinge the Chirurgeon held a Wound uppon a full Stomacke much more dangerous then otherwise, I requested my second to certifie him, I would decyde the differences, And therefore hee should ymediately meete mee on horsebacke, onely waited on by or Chirurgeons, they beeinge unarmed together they Wee rode (but One before another some Twelue score; about some two English Miles, Then passion haueinge soe weake an Enimy to assaile att my direcc[i]on 248r direction easily became victor, but useinge his power, made mee obedient to his Com[m]andement I beeinge veryly madd with anger the Lord Bruce should thirst after my life with a kind of assurednes, seeinge I had come soe farre, and needlesly to giue him Leaue to regaine his lost Reputac[i]on I bidd him alight, with all willingnes hee quickely graunted, and there in a Meadowe Ancle deepe in water att least biddinge ffarewell to or dubblett[es] in or shirtes beeganne to Charg each other, havinge afore Com[m]anded or Chirurgeons to withdrawe themselves a pretty distance from us us coniuringe them, besides as they respected or favours, and their owne saffenes not to stirre, but suffer us to execute or pleasures, wee beeinge fully resolu'd (God forgiue us) to dispatch each other by what meanes wee could, I made thrust att my Enimy, but was short, and drawinge backe againe mine Arme, I received a greater Wound, with a blowe thereon, which I interprett as a Reward for my short Shootinge, but in Revenge I prest it to him againe, though I then mist him And then Receivinge a Wound in my Right Papp, which past levell allmost to my backe, And there wee wrestled for the two greatest and dearest Prizes, wee could ever expect 48v expect tryall for life and honnor. In which struglinge my hand havinge an Ordinary Gloue on it lost one of her Servant[es] though the meanest wch. hunge by the Skinne, and to sight, yet remaineth as before, and I am putt in hope one day to haue the use allsoe, Butt att last, Breathlesse (yett keeping or holdes) there past on both Sides p[ro]posic[i]ons of quittinge each sword[es], But when Amity was dead Confidence would not live, and whoe should quitt first was the Question, which on neither p[ar]t either would p[er]forme strivinge afresh with a Kicke, and to Wrench together I freed my longe Captived Weapon, which incontinently I levyed att his Throate (beeinge Mr. still of his) I demanded if hee would aske his life or yeild his Sword both which though in that eminent danger hee brauely denyed to doe, my selfe beeinge wounded, and feelinge losse of Blood, haueinge three Conduit[es] runninge on mee, beganne to make mee faint, and hee courageously p[er]sistinge not to accord to either of my p[ro]posic[i]ons, remembrance of his bloody desire, and feelinge my prsent Estate I strucke att his heart, but with his avoydinge mist him againe, yett past through his body, and drawinge forth my Sword repast it through againe another place. Then hee cryed out Oh I am slayne secondinge his Speech, with all the force hee had to 249r to Cast mee, but beeinge too weake after I had defended his Assault, I easily became Mr of him, layinge him on his backe, when beeinge over him, I demanded if hee would request his life, but it seemed hee prized it not att soe deare a Rate to bee beehouldinge for it, brauely replyinge hee scorned it, which Answere of his was soe noble and worthy, as I protest I could not finde in my heart to offer any more Violence, only keepinge him downe till att length his Chirurgeon farre off cryed out imediately he will dy if his wound were not stopped, whereuppon I asked if hee desired his Chirurgeon should Come which hee accepted of, (and soe beeinge drawen away I never offered to take his sword from him, accountinge it an unhumane p[ar]t to robb a dead man for soe I accounted him to bee.

This thus ended I retyred to my Chirurgeon in whose Armes (after I had remained a while for want of blood I lost my life allsoe, but stronge waters, and his dilligence quickly recovered mee when I eschaped a greate danger, for my Lord[es] Chirurgeon, when noe body dreampt of it Ranne att mee with his Lord[es] sword, had not not mine with my sword interposed himselfe, I had bin by those base hand[es] slayne Although the Lord Bruce weltringe in his owne blood, and past expectac[i]on of life conformable to all his formr. Carriage 249v Carriage, was undoubtedly Noble Cryed out Rascall hould thy hand[es].

Soe may I prosper as I haue dealt sincerely with yow in this Relac[i]on, which I pray yow with the inclosed Letter to deliver to my Lord Chamberlayne And soe &c. Edw: Sackvile

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