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

British Library, Harley MS 6854, ff. 3r-13v


The relation of the Combate. Mr: Edward Sackveile (Now Earle of Dorsett) his relation of the Manner of the Combate and death of the lord Bruse Baron of Kinlosse Sent to his frends in England 1613

The Lord Bruses Challenge to the Earle of Dorsett:

A Mons[ieu]r Mons[ieu]r Sackveile I that am in France, heare how much you attribute to your selfe in this 3vThe relation of the Combate in this by me that I have given the world leave to singe yo[u]r praises and fayne the truest Alminacke to tell you how much I suffer, And if you call to memory when I gaue my hand last, I tould you I receaved the haste for a truer resolution , Yow bee the noble gentleman[n]. My soule sayes, Come and doe him reason, that Can recyte yo[u]r tryalls you owe your birth and Country, were I not Confident yo[u]r honor gives you the same Courage, to doe mee right that it did to doe mee wronge, . Bee therefore master, andof your owne weapon and tyme, the place wheresoever I will wayte on you; by doeing this, you shall shorten revenge, and Cleere the Iealous 4rThe Relation of the Combate. Jealous opinion the world hath of both our worthes:

Edward Bruse:

Mr: Edward Sackveile his Answear. A Mons[ieu]r Mons[ieu]r le Baron de Kinlosse. As it shall bee alwayes farr from mee to seeke a quarrell, soe will I allwayes bee ready to meete any that desires to make tryall of my valour, by soe faire a Course as you require4vThe Relation of the Combate. require, A witnes whereof you shall bee, who with in this monthe shall receave a strickt accompte of tyme place and weapon, by him that shall Conducte you thither, where yow shall finde mee disposed to giue you honorable satisfaction, In the meane tyme bee as seacret of the appointment as it seemes you are desirous of it / Edward Sackveile

Mr. Sackveils second letter to my Lord Bruse from Tergous. A mons[ieu]r


The relation of the Combate A Mons[ieu]r Mons[ieu]r le Baron De Kinloss a Paris:

S[i]r I am ready at Tergous a towne in Zealand to give yow what satisfac[i]on yo[u]r sword can render you, accompanied with a worthy gentleman for my second, in degree a knight, And for your Conveniencyes I will not lymitt you a peremptory day but desire you to make it definite and speedy, both for you[u]r honor, and feare of prevention [] untill which tyme you shall finde mee there Edward Sackveile Tergous 10th August: 1613 My Lord


The Relation of the Combate My Lord Bruses Answeare.

A Mons[ieu]r Mons[ieu]r Sackveile.

I have receaved yo[u]r letter by yo[u]r man, and doe acknowledg that you have dealt nobly with mee and now I Come with all possible hast to see you. Edward Bruse

Mr Edward


Relation of the Combate Mr. Edward Sackveils letter to a frend of the manner of the Combate, and death Betwixt him and the Lord Bruse Baron of Kinloss. 1613

Worthy S[i]r I am not ignorant (soe ought I to bee sensible) of the false asp[er]sions some authorless toungs have laid uppon mee, in the reports of the unfortunate passage, lately hapned betweene the lord Bruse and my selfe, which as they are spreade heere soe may I iustly feare, they raigne also where you are, There are6vThe Relation of the Combate There are but two wayes to resolve doubts of this nature, either by oathe or sword, the first is due to magistrat[es] and Comunicable to frends, the other to such as malitiously slander and Impudently defend their assertion, yo[u]r love not my merritt assures mee you hold mee a frend which esteeme I am so desirous to retayne, Doe mee the right to understand the truthe of that, and in my behalfe informe others, who either are or may bee infected with synister Rumors, much preiudiciall to that faire opinion I desire to hold amongst all worthy persons, and on the faith of a gentleman the relac[i]on I shall give you is neither more or lesse then the bare truth. The7rThe Relac[i]on of the Combate. The Enclosed Contaynes, the first Citation sent mee from Paris by a Scottish gentleman who delivered it to mee in Darbyshire at my ffather in lawes howse, After it followes my answer returned him by the same bearer, the next then is the Accomplishment of my first p[ro]mise, beeing a perticuler assignac[i]on of place and weapons which I sent by a servant of myne by Poste from Roterdam, assoone as I landed there, the receipte of which ioyned with an acknowledgment of my too faire Carriage towards the deceased lord is testified by the last, which periods that busines till wee mett at Tergous7vThe relac[i]on of the Combate Tergous in Zealand, It beeinge the place allotted for Randevouz where hee accompanyed with one mr Crayford an English gentleman for his seacond a Chirurgeon and a man, arrived with all the speed hee Cold, and there haveinge once rendered himselfe, I adressed my seacond S[i]r John Heydon to lett him understand, that now all followed should bee done by Consente, As concerninge the {tearmes} whereon wee should fight, as also the place, To our seaconds wee gave power for these appointments who agreed wee should goe to Antwerpe from thence to Bergen upon Zoan wherein 8rThe Relation of the Combate wherein the mid way but a village divides the States territoryes from the Arch Dukes, and there was the destined Stage to the end that haveing ended hee that Could might presently exempt him selfe from the Iustice of the Countrye, by retyreinge into the Domynyon not offended; It was further Concluded that in Case any shold fall or slipp, that then the Combate should cease, and hee whose ill fortune had soe subjected him, was to acknowledge his life to haue been in the others hands, but in Case one partyes sword should breake (because that might chance by8vThe relation of the Combate by hazard) It was agreed that the other should take no advantage but either then bee made Frends or els uppon eeven tearmes goe to it againe, Thus these Conclusions beeing by each of them related to his party, and by us both approoved and assented unto; Accordingly wee embarqued for Antwerpe and by reason my lord (as I conveave because hee could not handesomely without danger of Discovery) had not payred the sword I sent him at Paris, bringing one of the same length but twyse as broade, My seacond excepted against it, and advised mee to match my owne and to send him the Choyce which 9rThe relac[i]on of the Combate which I obeyed (it beeing as you knowe the Challengeds privilidge to elect his weapon) at the delivery of the swords which was p[er]formed by S[i]r John Heydon it pleased the Lord Bruse to Chuse my sword and then (past expectation) I tould him that hee found him selfe soe farr behynde hand, as little of my blood would not serve his turne and therefore hee was now resolued to have mee also alone, because hee knewe (for I will use his owne words) that soe worthy a gentleman and my Frend Could not endure to stand by and see him do that which hee must satisfie him selfe and his honor, Heereupon S[i]r John Heydon9vThe relation of the Combate. Heydon replyed, such Inventions were bloody and butcherly farr unfitting soe noble a personage, who should desire to bleed for reputac[i]on not for life withall adding hee thought himself Iniured (beeing come thus farr) now to bee p[ro]hibited from executinge those honorable offices hee came for, the lord for answear onely reiterated his former resoluc[i]on, whereupon S[i]r John leaveing him the Sword hee had elected, Delivered mee the other, with his Determinations the which (not for matter but man[n]er) soe mooved mee as though to my rememberance I had not of a longe while eaten more liberally then10rThe relac[i]on of the Combate then at dinner, and therefore unfitt for such an Action, seeing the Surgeons hold a wound uppon a full stomach much more dangerous then otherwise, I requested my seacond to Certifie him, I would presently decyde the difference, and that therefore hee should imediately meete mee on horsebacke at that gate of the Towne where the lott should direct us, the names of the Portes beeing putt into a hatt, and hee draweing it, it hapned to bee the gate that ledd to Lillos, of this Course hee accepted and forthwith wee mett, at the fore named place where10vThe relac[i]on of the Combate where beeing searched by our seaconds wee were turned together on horsebacke onely waited on by our Surgeons they beeing unarmed together wee rode, (but one before the other some 12 score) about some two English myles, and then passion haveing soe weake an enemy to assaile, as my dirrection easely became Victor and useing his power made mee obedient to his Comandment, I beeing veryly madd with anger, that the lord Bruse should thirste after my life with a kinde of Assurednes seeinge I had come soe farr, and needlessly to give him leave to regaine his lost Reputation, I bade him alighte which with11rThe Relac[i]on of the Combate which with all willingnes hee quickly granted and there in a Meadow (anckle deepe at leaste in water) bidding farewell to our Doubletts, and in our Shirts began to Charge each other haveing afore Comanded our Surgeons to withdrawe themselves a pretty distance from us Coniuring them besides as they respected our favors or their owne safety, not to stirr but suffer us to execute our pleasures wee beeing fully resolved (god forgive us) to despatch each other by what meanes wee could, I made a thruste at my enemye but was shorte, and in draweing backe my owne arme I receaved a great11vThe relac[i]on of the Combate./ I receaved a greate wounde with a blowe thereon, which I interpreted as a reward for my short shooting but in revenge I prest into him though I myste him also, and then receaved a wounde in my right papp which paste levill through my body almost to my backe and grapelinge together hee catcht hold on my sword , I on his, and there wee wrestled for the two greatest and dearest prizes wee could euer expect triall for honor and life, in which struglinge my hand haveing but an Ordinary glove on it loste one of her servants (though the meanest) which12rThe relac[i]on of the Combate which hunge by a skin, and to fight yet remaynes as before and I am putt in hope onely day to have the use also, but at the laste breatheles yet keeping our houlds there paste on both sides p[ro]posic[i]ons of quittinge each others swords but when amyety was dead confidence Could not live, and who should quitt first was the Question, which on neither part either would p[er]forme and restriving afresh with a kicke and a wrench together I freed my longe captivated weapon[n], which incontinently leaveying at his throate (beeing master still of his) I demaunded if hee would aske his life or yeeld his12vThe relac[i]on of the Combate his life sword, (though in that Eminent danger) hee bravely denyed to doe, my selfe beeing wounded and feeling losse of blood haveing three Cunduits running on mee began to make mee fainte and hee Coragiously p[er]sisting not to accord to either of my p[ro]posic[i]ons, remembrance of his former bloody desire, and feeling of my present state I strucke at his harte, but with his avoyding myste my ayme yet paste through the body and draweing through my sword repaste it through againe through another place , when hee Cryed Oh I am slaine seconding his speech with all the force hee had desirous to caste mee but beeing too weake after I had13rThe relac[i]on of the Combate. I had defended his assaulte I easely became master of him layeing him on his backe, when beeing over him I { re } redemanded, if hee would request his life but { h } it seemes hee prized it not at so deere a rate to bee beholding for it, bravely replyed hee scorned it, which answear of his was so noble and worthy as I protest I could not finde in my hart, to offerr him any more vyolence onely keeping him downe till at length his Surgeon afarr of Cryed out, hee would Imediately dye if his wounds were not stopped, whereopon I asked him if hee desired his Surgeon, should come to him, which hee accepted of, and soe beeing drawen I away I never offered to take his13vThe relac[i]on of the Combate his sword, accompting it unhumane to robb a dead man, for soe I held him to bee, This, thus ended I retyred to my Surgeon in whose armes after I had remayned awhile for wante of blood I loste my sight and with all (as I then thought) my life alsoe, but stronge water and his dilligence quickly recovered mee when I escaped a great danger, for my lords Surgeon when no body dreamed of it rann full at mee with his lords sword enterposed him, I had been slayne by those base hands although the lord Bruse, then weltering in his blood and past expectac[i]on of life (conformable to [fo. 14r.] The relac[i]on of the Combate.

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