We were often at war with the Scots and the French in the early 16th century. The King ordered the release of a ship of the Prince of Castile and some Scots merchants driven into Scarborough in a storm and arrested in the Winter of 1516. Thomas Harwood, a Scarborough mariner had his ship, laden with 3500 fish, taken by Delamotte the Frenchman, and the notorious offshore raider Robin Barton, acting in the service of the King of Scotland. The king's yeoman Horsley of Cropton is said to have ended Barton's career.
Scarborough vessels went on the campaign against Scotland in 1528-29 while six crayers worked the Scots fishing grounds. A year or two later, the Scarborough bailiffs wrote to Cardinal Wolsey about many French haynes in the haven, which had sent home their nets and were rigging for war.Seven corn ships lay for seven weeks in Scarborough wyke in 1533 not daring to emerge. They said that the King of the Scots himself landed along the coast in 1537, after anchoring within half a mile of the port. His fleet of seventeen sail, included three with four tops andmany with three, a rare sight in those days.
Scots privateers took three English ships laden with corn outside Scarborough in December 1542. TheScots vessel "Martin" of Aberdeen, coming ashore between Scarborough and Filey brigg, was soon relieved of the cargo of fish, cloth and wool and the Scots merchant's money to the tune of £60. King Henry VIII ordered a large fleet to attack the Scots from Newcastle in April 1544. Scarborough mentook a Scots ship in July. Some of the Frenchmen on board tied their writings in a linen cloth with a lump of coal and threw them in the sea. After the French attacked nine fishing boats seventeen Scarborough men were ransomed from Dieppe.
When a Scots ship was taken off the town, bailiff William Lockwood reported that the Cardinal of Scotland was among the eighteen Scots and Frenchmen and one woman taken. The Siegneur de Baudrell was imprisoned, although diseased in the head with the"French pox". That September, the enemy took Henry Store's ship, the "Valentine" of Scarborough. They commandeered the fish, sank the ship, and ransomed the men. Three large Scots ships of war crossed Scarborough Wyke in late October to anchor within gunshot. No ship sailing up the coast could escape them. The townsmen appealed to Lord Shrewsburry. They had no ordnance, no shot or gun powder and only four small crayers under fifty tons. Things were not improving.