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Lord Edward Bruce, and Sir Edward Sackville 'Challenges (6 September 1613)'

British Library, Harley MS 4761, ff. 127r-132v


Mr Edward Sackveile now Earle of Dorsett his relation of the mannor an of the Combate and deathe of the Lord Bruse Baron of – Kinloss sent to his frends in England 1613

The Lord Bruse his Challeng to mr Sackveile A Mons[ieu]r Mons[ieu]r Sackveile: I that am in ffrance heare how much You attribute to yo[u]r selfe in this tyme that I haue giuen the world leaue to sing yo[u]r praises and fame the trustest truest Alminake to tell you how much I suffer, and if you Call to memory when I gaue my hand laste I told you I receaued the haste for a truer resolution Conciliation; you bee the noble gentleman, My soule once spake come and doe him reason that Could recite yo[u]r loyall[es] you owe yor birthe and Countrye were I not Confident yo[u]r honor giues you the same Corage to doe mee righte that it did to mee wronge, be m[aste]r of yo[u]r owne weapon and tyme, the place where souer. I will waite on You by doeing this you shall shorten reuenge and cleere the Iealous opinion the world hath of both of our worthes

Edward Bruse


The Lord Bruse to mr. Mr Edward Sackveils Answere. A Mons[ieu]r Mons[ieur]r le Baron de Kinlosse.

As it shall bee farr from mee alwayes to seeke a quarell soe will I bee alwayes redy to merite any that desires to make tryall of my valor by soe faire a Course as you require, A witnes whereof you shall bee who within this monthe shall receaue a strickt accompte of tyme, place and weapon, of him that shall Conducte you thither where you shall finde mee disposed to giue you ho[nora]ble satisfacction In the meane tyme bee as seacret of the appointement as it seemes you are desirous of it.

Edward Sackveile

Mr. Sackveils Second Letter to my Lord Bruse from Tourgous. A Mons[ieu]r Mons[ieu]r le Baron de Kinlosse a Paris. S[i]r I am redy, at Targous a towne in Zeland to giue you what satisifacc[i]on y[ou]r128rMr Ed. Sackveile yo[u]r sword can render you, Accompanied with a worthy gentlemen for my second, In degree a knighte and for yo[u]r Conveniences I will not lymite you a peremptory daye. but desire you to make it definite and speedy for yo[u]r honor and feare of prevention untill which tyme you shall finde mee there.

Edward Sackveile Tergous 10: August 1613.

My Lord Bruses answer A Mons[ieu]r Mons[ieu]r Sackveile. I haue receaued yo[u]r letter by yo[u]r man and acknowledge you haue dealt nobly with mee and now I come with all possible haste to see you. Edward Bruse

Mr. Edward Sackveils Letter to a frend of the maner of the Combateand death: Betwixt him and the Lord Bruse Baron of Kinlose 1613 128vMr. Ed: Sackveils relation of his Combate Worthy S[i]r I am not ignorant, soe ought I to bee sensible of the false aspersions some authorlesse toung[es] haue layd upon mee; in the report[es] of the unfortunate passage lately hapned between the lord Bruse and my selfe which as they are spread here soe Imay I iustely feare they raigne where you are, there are but two wayes to resolue doubt[es] of this nature by oath or sworde: the first is due to Magistrat[es] and Communicable to frend[es] the other to such as malitiously slander and impudently defend their assertion yo[u]r loue not my merritt assures mee You hold mee a frend which esteeme I am so desirous to retayne doe mee the righte to understand the truth of that and in my behalfe informe others who either are or may bee infected w[i]th synister rumor[es] 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 giue is neither more or lesse then the bare truthe, The enclosed Contaynes the first Citation sent mee from Paris by a Scotish gent. who deliuered it to mee in Darbishire at my ffather in lawes house129rwith the Lord Bruse:. house; After it followes my then answer returned him by the same bearor the next is the Accomplishment of my firste promise being a perticuler assignac[i]on of place and weapons which I sent by a servante of myne by Poste from Roterdame assoone as I landed there, the Receipte of which with an acknowledgment of my too faire cariage to the deceased Lord is testified by the laste which periods that busines till tw wee mett at Tergous in Zeland It being the place alotted for Rendevouz where hee accompanied with one mr Crayford an English gent for his second, a Chirurgeon and a man arived with all the speed hee cold and there haueinge once rendered him selfe, I adressed my second S[i]r Jhon Heydon to lett him understand that nowe all followed should bee done by Consent as concerni[n]ge the Tearmes whereon { we } wee should fight as alsoe the place. to our seconds wee gaue power for these apointment who agreed wee should goe to Antwerpe from thence to Bergen upon Zoan where in the midd waye but a village devided the States Teritories from the Archduke and there was the destined stage to the end that haueinge ended hee that Cold might presently exempt himselfe from129vS[i]r Ed: Sackveils relation of the Combate. himselfe from the iustice of the Country by retyreinge into the dominion not offended It was further concluded that in case any should 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 parties sworde shold breake (because that cold onely Chance by hazard) it was agreed that the other should take noe advantage but either bee made frends or uppon euen tearmes to goe to it againe, thus these Conclusions being by each of them related to his partie was by us both approved and assented unto, Accordingly wee imbarked for Antwerpe and by reason my lord as I Conceaue because hee cold not handsomelye without danger of discovery had not payred the Sword I sent him at Paris bringinge one of the same length but twise as broade, My second excepted against it and advised mee to match my owne and send him the Choice which I obeyed (it beinge as you knowe the Challen[n]geds priviliege to elect his the weapon at the deliuery of these swords which was performed by S[i]r Jhon Heydon it pleased the Lord Bruse to chuse my owne and130rwith the Lord Bruse. my owne and then (paste expectation) I told him that hee found him selfe soe farr behinde hand as little of my bloods would not serue his turne and therefore hee was now resolued to haue mee alone because hee knewe for (I will use his owne words) that soe worthy a gent. and my frend Could not endure to stand by and to see him doe that which hee muste to satisfye him selfe and his honor, Hereupon S[i]r Jhon Heydon replyed such intentions weere bloody and butchery farr unfittinge so noble a personage who should desire to bleed for reputation not for life with all adddinge hee thought him selfe Iniured (being come this farr) now to bee prohibited from executinge those ho[nora]ble offices hee came for The lord for answer onely reiterated his former resolution, whereupon S[i]r Jhon leaueing him the sword wee had elected deliuered mee the other w[i]th his determinac[i]ons the which (not for matter but manner) soe moved mee as though to my Remembrance I had not of a longe while eaten more liberally then at dynner and therefore unfitt for such an action, seinge the Chirurgeons hold a wounde uppon a full stomach more dangerous130vMr. Sackveils relation of his Combate more daingerous then otherwise I requested my second to Certifie him I would presently decyde the difference, and that therefore hee should ymediately meete mee on horsebacke at that gate of the Towne where the lott should direct us, the names of the Ports beinge putt into a hatte. and hee draweinge it hapned to bee the fate that ledd to Lillos, of this Course hee accepted and forthwith wee mett at the forenamed place where beinge searched by our seconds wee were turned together on horse backe onely waited on by our Chirurgeons, they beinge unarmed together we wee roade (but one before the other some twelve score about some two English myles and then passion haueinge soe weake an enemy to assaile as my dirrec[i]on easely became victor. and useinge his power made mee obeedient to his Comandmente I beinge verely madd with anger, the lord Bruse should thirste after my life with a kinde of assurednes, seeinge I had come soe farr and needlessly giue him leaue to regaine his loste reputation I bade him alighte which with all willingnes hee quickly granted and there in a Meadow anckle deepe at leaste in water biddinge131rwith the Lord Bruse. biddinge fare well to our doubletts in our O Shirts began to Charg each other haueinge afore Comanded our Surgeons to withdrawe them selues a pretty distance from us, Coniuringe them besides as they respected our favors, or theire owne safetye not to stirr but suffer us to execute our pleasures wee being fully resolued (god forgiue us) to dispatch each other by what meanes wee Could, I made a thruste at my enemy but was shorte, and in draweinge backe my arme I receaued a great wounde with a blowe thereon which I interpreted as a rewarde for my shorte shootinge but in revenge I preste into him though I myste him alsoe and then receaued a wounde in my righte pappe which paste Levill through my bodye almost to my backe and grappelinge together, hee Catcht hold on my sword I on his and there wee wrasteled for the two greateste and dearest prises wee could euer expect tryall for; Honor & life, In which struglinge my hand haueinge but an ordinary gloue on it, loste one of her servants (thoug the meanest) which hunge by a skynn and to fight remaynes as before And131vMr Edward Sackveile relation of his Combate. And I am put in hope onely day to haue the use alsoe, but at laste breathelesse yet keeping our holds there paste on both sides propositions of quitting each others swords but when Amyety was dead confidence Cold not liue, and who should quitt first was the question which on neither parte either would could p[er]forme, and restrivinge a fresh with a kicke and a wrench together I freed my longe Captiue weopon which Incontinently leaveinge at his Throate (being m[aste]r still of his). I demanded if hee would aske his life or Yeild his Sworde (though in that emynent danger) hee bravelytruely denyed to doe my selfe beinge wounded and feelinge losse of blood haueing three Conduits runninge on mee began to make mee fainte and hee Coragiously p[er]sistinge not to accorde to either of my ProPositions rememberance of his former bloody desire and feelinge of my present state I strucke at his harte but with his avoydeing myste my Ayme yet paste through the bodye yet draweing through my sword repaste it through againe through an other place, when hee Cryed oh I am slaine seconding his speech, with all the force hee had desirous to caste mee but beinge132rwith my Lord Bruse. beinge too weake after I had defended his assaulte I easely became m[aste]r of him and layeinge him on his backe when beinge over him I redemanded if hee would request his life but it seemes he prized it not at soe deare a rate to bee beholdinge for it, brauely replyed hee scorned it which answere of his was soe noble and worthye as I proteste I could not finde in my harte to offer him any more vyolence onely keeping him downe till at length his Surgeon afarr of Cryed out hee would ymediately dye of his woundes were not stopped, whereupon I asked if hee desired that his Chirurgeon shold Come which hee accepted of and soe beinge drawen away I neuer offered to take his sworde accomptinge 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 a while for wante of bloode I loste my sighte and withall (as ( I then thoughte) my life alsoe but stronge water and his dilligence quickly recovered mee, when I escaped a great dainger, for my lords Chirurgeon when no body dreamed of it ranne full at mee with his lords sworde and had132vMr. Sackveils relation of his Combate and had not myne interposed himselfe I had beene slayne by those base hands although the lord Bruse then welteringe in his blood and paste expectac[i]on of life (Conformable to all his former Cariage which was undaunted and noble) cryed out rascall hold thy hands, soe may I p[ro]sper as I haue dealt sincerely with you in this relation the which I pray with the enclosed deliver to my lord Chamberlain.

Lovaine Septeember vjth 1613.

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