[The Hawkins Family 79]
YOUR master would not give himself the airs he does were it not that his dominions are surrounded by a herring-pond," said Charles V. to an English amhassador in the reign of Henry VIII. But the herring-pond did not deter his son Philip II. of Spain from attacking Queen Elizabeth and the English nation, whom he hated. Accordingly, in the thirtieth year of her reign, he sent his "Invincible Armada" to overthrow England, which, contrary to his expectations, experienced a total defeat, with the result of transferring the sovereignty of the seas from Spain to England.
On Queen Elizabeth's accession to the throne, in 1558, England had no colonies; and the Queen observing the great advantages gained by the Spaniards and Portuguese in the discovery of a New World, whence they imported all their wealth, for several years encouraged her subjects in their ilavigating expeditions to hitherto unknown regions. These explorations greatly excited the jealousy of the Spaniards, and caused an antagonistic feeling between the rival nations, who never missed an opportunity of seizing and plundering each other's merchantmen. Philip determined to solve these difficulties by the conquest of England, which he intended to make a province of Spain.
To retard Philip's preparations, by compelling him to protect his colonies in America, in 1586, Captain Thomas Candish, or Cavendish, carried the tenor of the English arms into the South Seas, and distressed the Spanish trade in America, where he was a severe scourge to the Spaniards. By the Queen's command he sailed from Plymouth on the 21st July, 1586, with three ships only-the Desire, of 120 tons ; the Content, of 6o tons; and the Hugh Gallant of 40 tons; 123 men in all. They arrived off the coast of America, named Port Desire after Candish's ship, passed through the Straits of Magellan, and
[80 Plymouth Armada Heroes. ]
entered the South Sea. Here they navigated along the coasts of Chili, Peru, and New Spain, or Mexico; burnt or sunk nineteen ships; surprised two rich ships at Pisco ; then plundered and burnt the town of Payta, where they took great spoil ; thence made an attempt on the Island of Puna, where they sunk a large ship and took 100,000 crowns, besides rich furniture and treasure, after which they fought the Spaniards. Continuing to burn and destroy, they came to San lago, where they took the Santa Anna, the "admiral" of all the South Seas, of 700 tons burden, after a resistance of six hours. With her they took also £22,000 and great quantities of rich stuffs, besides other things of value. After setting the Spanish ships on fire, they returned by the Philippine Islands, China, and Cape of Good Hope; discovered the Island of St. Helena, and arrived in England 19th November, 1587, having circumnavigated the globe. Of the three ships the Desire alone returned, Candish, for want of hands, having early been obliged to sink his 40-ton bark ; while the Content was lost after putting ashore the crew of the Spanish admiral's ship, before setting her on fire at Puerto Seguro. Candish then expected the Content would follow later, but she was never again heard of.
Meantime news came of the intended Spanish invasion, which had been so long expected, from a Venetian priest, Walsingham's spy at Rome, who bribed a gentleman of the Pope's bedchamber to take the keys out of His Holiness's pocket when asleep, open his cabinet, and send Walsingham a copy of the King of Spain's original letter to the Pope, acquainting him with the true design of his great preparations, and asking his blessing upon it.
On receipt of this letter Walsingham advised the Council to send Sir Francis Drake with a strong squadron, accompanied by a flotilla of large London merchant ships, to Spain, with orders to burn and destroy the Spanish vessels, and to do all the mischief possible to hinder Philip's preparations. Drake accordingly sailed in April, 1587, and on the way learned that the Spaniards had vast quantities of stores at Cadiz. On arriving there, without opposition, he burnt and destroyed 100 of their ships. He then sailed to St. Vincent, where he did considerable damage and thence to the mouth of the Tagus, where lay the grand Armada, or fleet of men-of-war, under the Marquis of Santa Cruz.
Drake plundered and burnt the merchant ships that he fell in with along the coast but was unable to provoke the Spanish Admiral to give him battle; so leaving him he went in search of the San Philip, a rich ship expected from the West Indies, which he took. This prize contained a valuable cargo, with which he returned to England.
Thus the damage done to the Spaniards by Candish and Drake, together with the fact that Walsingham got all the Spanish bills protested at Genoa, that were to Supply Philip with money to carry on his preparations, obliged the King of Spain to put off the contemplated Invasion of England until the following year.
now come to the memorable year 1588 (the thirtieth of Queen Elizabeth's reign), which by Regiomontanus, the celebrated astrologer at Konigsberg, was foretold about one hundred years before to be a year of wonder, and by the German astrologers to be the climacterical year of the world. Rumours of war were now daily increasing, and were not, as before, a series of variable reports, but an assured certainty.
The Pope, aided by religious and devout Spaniards, and some English fugitives, had long and diligently exhorted the Spaniards to invade and conquer England, and by the extirpation of heresy to establish the Roman Catholic religion.
The King of Spain thought he might justly claim the crown of England for these reasons Firstly, upon the slender title of being descended from a daughter of John of Gaunt, fourth son of Edward III. Secondly, upon the conveyance and will of Mary Queen of Scots, who had given up her right to him as the only means of restoring Popery in England, because he agreed with the Church of Rome that a heretic is unworthy and incapable of reigning. Thirdly, because Pope Sextus V had made over England to Philip, who was authorized at the same time by the Pope's bull to absolve the Queen's subjects from their oath of allegiance. Thus fortified with papal vows and prayers, the King of Spain projected the conquest of England. Of these intrigues and preparations Elizabeth was meanwhile thoroughly informed.
Although Candish, on the western coast of America, and Drake on the coast of Spain, had done King Philip great damage in the preceding year, yet -so vast and universal a preparation as the latter was making against England was not easily overthrown. For three years Philip had been employed in preparations, and at length had got together the fleet, called by the arrogant name of the "Invincible" Armada, on which the treasures of the Indian mines had for these three years been spent. In the six squadrons there were sixty-five large ships, the smallest of 700 tons, seven were over 1000 tons and La Regazona, an Italian, was of 1300. They were built high like castles, their upper decks musket-proof, their main timbers four aud five feet thick." Next the galleons were four galleases gigantic galleys, carrying fifty guns each, 450 soldiers and sailors, and rowed by 300 galley slaves.
82 Plymouth Armada Heroes.
Besides these there were four large galleys, fifty-six armed merchant vessels (the best in Spain), and twenty caravals, or pinnaces, attached to the larger ships. Thus the Armada consisted of 129 vessels, seven of them larger than the Triumph, and the smallest of the sixty-five galleons of larger tonnage than the finest ship in the English navy, except the five which had last been added to it."
The fleet was manned and armed by 21,555 soldiers, 5766 mariners, 2085 galley slaves chained ; it had 3165 pieces of brass and iron ordnance, with great store of ammunition, weapons of war, and instruments of torture, besides 100 monks and Jesuits under Cardinal Allen, an Englishman. Twelve ships were named after the apostles, and the daily expenditure was 32,000 ducats (the value of a ducat being nine shillings and sixpence).
The fleet was commanded by the nobles of Spain. The Marquis of Santa Cruz died while the Armada was being fitted out, and his place as Commander-in-Chief was taken by the Duke of Medina Sidonia, with Martin Recalde, an experienced sea officer and most skilful navigator, next in command. The Duke was merely selected on account of his exalted position, because there were so many volunteers of rank who would not serve under an inferior. Among the other commanders were Pedro de Valdez, General of the squadron of Andalusia, who had commanded the Spanish fleet on the coast of Holland, and knew the English Channel well ; Miquel de Oquendo, who commanded the Guipuscoa squadron, Hugo de Moncada, chief in command of the galleases. Diego de Pimentel, and Alonzo de Leyva, commanded the land forces.
This fleet was got together in Portugal, at Naples, and in Sicily, and to terrify their enemies the Spaniards published an account of it in Spanish, Latin, French, and Dutch. The Spanish book soon came into the hands of the Lord Treasurer Burleigh.
For some years, however, this Spanish invasion had been expected, and now that it was on its way Elizabeth did the best she could to meet her foe.
The English navy consisted of only thirty-eight vessels carrying the Queen's flag, for economy being the order even of that day, the naval expenses had been cut down. But in 1573 Elizabeth had placed at the head of her Naval administration the fittest person in her dominions to manage it - Sir John Hawkins* who with scrupulous fidelity threw his mind and fortune into his charge. When the moment of trial came, Hawkins sent the Queen's ships to sea in such condition - hull, rigging, spars, and running rope - that they had
* To make the narrative complete a few of the details of Sir John's services are here reprinted.
no match in the world either for speed, safety, or endurance." * Three years before the seamen's pay had been raised by Hawkins from six and eight-pence a month to ten shillings, hut this increase cost the crown nothing, as a smaller crew, better paid, did superior service. In 1553 five new ships, larger than any afloat, had been added to the navy; the Ark Royal and the Victory, each of 800 tons, the Bear and the Elizabeth Jonas of 900, and the Triumph of 1000. The four last had not been commissioned before 1588; and had been constructed upon a new principle introduced by Hawkins. The high sterns and forecastles were lowered, the keels lengthened, and the lines made finer and sharper. Some found fault with these improvements, and foretold the usual disasters; so much so that the Queen shrank from experiments, and they were kept safe at their moorings in the Medway, until they were required to meet the Armada, when they did more service than any other ships in the fleet. Hawkins also fitted the vessels with nettings for the repulsion of attack by boarders.
The chief towns sent as many ships as they were able. Howard had two ships of his own, and Hawkins four or five. Then there were the volunteers, who fitted out ships and joined the fleet. But it was on the Queen's ships that the brunt of the battle would have to fall, to face the most powerful fleet in existance. Hawkins was directed to put the whole navy, as rapidly as possible, in condition for sea. On the 21st December, 1557, the Lord High Admiral of England (at this time Lord Charles Howard of Effingham) received orders " to take the ships into the Channel to defend the realm against the
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Spaniards." But in January, 1588, it was announced that the fleet would be required for six weeks only, as the Queen hoped that a peace would be established before that time had elapsed.
Rumour coming from Spain that the Armada was dissolving, Elizabeth dismissed half the crews which had been collected and engaged at such expense. "Never," said Howard, "since England was England was there such a stratagem and mark to deceive us withal as this treaty." "We are wasting money," wrote Hawkins in February, 1588, "wasting strength, dishonouring and discrediting ourselves, by our uncertain dallying."
Lord Howard to Lord Burleigh.
MY VERIE GOOD LORD,- Uppon Tuesdaie beinge in the Downes the winde came to the Easte that we were fain to put over to Blacknes. This daie beinge the laste of this presente being up alongste the coaste towardes Calles I met Sr Henry Palmer whoe had wafted over the Commissioners and afterwardes went to Flushinge
I protest before god and as my soul shall answer for it that I think there were never in any place in the world worthier shippes than theise are for so many. And as few as we are if the King of Spain's forces be not hunderethes we will make good sport with them. And I praie your Lordship tell her Matie from me that her money was well geven for the Arke Rawlye, for I think her the odd ship in the worlde for all conditions, and truely I think there can no great ship make me change and go out of her. We can see no sail great nor small but how far soever they be off, we fetch them and speak with them. And so I hid your Lordship most heartily farewell. From aboard her Maties good ship the Arke the laste of Februarie 1587. Your Lordship's most assured to command,
[Endorsed] Ultimo Feb. 1587. L. Admiral to my L.
To the right honorable my verie good Lord, the Lord Treasurer of Englande.*
A fortnight later the ships were commanded again to sea. Men had to be collected where they could be found, and bounties and allowances were made necessary, which doubled the cost of keeping them in commission. The next difficulty to contend with was the cutting down the expense of the seamen's diet, stopping their meat, and setting them to defend their country on fish, dried peas, and oil. Still hoping for peace, the ships were kept close in harbour by a short supply of rations, served for a month at a time, and no stores and the ships at Plymouth were often without food for days. Howard
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wrote to Burleigh that "such a thing was never heard of since there were ships in England, as no victuals in store."
The four largest ships - the Triumph, Victory, Elizabeth Jonas and the Bear - were for weeks left behind for want of bands to man them. " Keeping Chatham Church," as Howard remarked. Upon further intelligence of the readiness of the Spaniards to put to sea, and that the Armada was really on the point of sailing, the Queen and her Council, however, ordered these ships to be commissioned, and then did the utmost in the short time left to prepare. Supplies were given out to last until the middle of June; and leaving the squadron under Seymour to guard the narrow seas, Howard and Hawkins with the royal fleet departed for Plymouth, where they were joined by Drake in the Revenge, a Queen's ship, together with the volunteer squadron of thirty-three sail.
Lord Henry Seymour (second son of the late Protector Somerset), with Sir William Winter, was ordered with his fleet of forty English and Dutch ships, under command of Justin of Nassau, Admiral of Zealand, to lie off the coast of Flanders, to prevent the intended junction of the forces under the Dukes of Parma and Guise, with the Armada. For the Duke, by orders received from Spain, had built ships and many flat-bottomed boats, each of the latter big enough to carry thirty horses, with bridges fitted to them. He hired mariners from the east of Germany; prepared pikes, sharpened and armed with iron hooks on the sides (some may be seen at the present day in the Tower); and had also 20,000 barrels, and an infinite number of wicker baskets and faggots. In the seaports of Flanders lay his army of 103 companies of foot and 4000 horse, making together 30,000 men, and among them 700 English fugitives, under Stanley and the outlawed rebel the Earl of Westmoreland; besides 12,000 men brought by the Duke of Guise to the coast of Normandy, intended for an attack on the West of England, under cover and protection of the Armada.
The English fleet was under the command of Charles Lord Howard of Effingham, Lord High Admiral of England, who, although not an experienced naval officer, having been only once previously at sea, exhibited on trial great courage, resolution, and bravery, with an affability of manner which endeared him to the sailors, and also a provident sense of his inexperience, which rendered him docile to the counsels of those excellent sea officers by whom he had the good fortune to he surrounded. "John Hawkins, one of the ablest and most experienced seamen of the age, was chiefly relied upon for the conduct of the main fleet, in which he acted as Vice Admiral."
"The commander-in-chief, indeed, Lord Howard of Effingham, though a nobleman of high character, was of no professional experience as a seaman, but his vice-admirals, Hawkins, Drake, and Frobisher, were the most skilful and enterprising sailors in Europe. A.D. 1588"*
Howard, it has been observed, was not only in the entire confidence of his Sovereign, but a man of singular ability and honourable zeal, courageous, wary, provident, industrious, and active, and held in great esteem and authority by the seamen of the royal navy, "who by his prudent policy and government of our English navy, in 1588 patiently withstood the instigations of many courageous and noble captains, who would have persuaded him to have laid them aboard ; but well he foresaw that the enemy had an army aboard, he none; that they exceeded him in number of shipping, and those greater in bulke, stronger built, and higher moulded, so that they who with such advantage fought from above, might easily distress all opposition below; the slaughter, peradventure, proving more fatal than the victory profitable by being overthrown, he might have hazarded the kingdom ; whereas by the conquest, at most, he could have boasted of nothing but glory and an enemy defeated. But by sufferance, he always advantaged himself of wind and tide; which was the freedom of our country, and security of our navy, with the destruction of theirs, which in the eye of the ignorant, who judge all things by the external appearance, seemed invincible ; but truly considered, was much inferior to ours in all things of substance, as the event proved ; for we sunk, spoiled, and took of them many, and they diminished of ours but one small pinnace, nor any man of name, save only Capt Cocke, who died with honour amidst his company.** The greatest damage that, as I remember," continues Sir Richard Hawkins, "they caused to any of our fleet, was to the Swallow of her Majesty, which I had in that action under my charge, with an arrow of fire shot into her beak-head, which we saw not, because of the sail, till it had burned a hole in the nose as big as a man's head ; the arrow falling out and driving a longst by the ship's side, made us doubt of it, which after we discovered."
Next to Howard in commaud of the Queen's ships was Admiral Sir John Hawkins, a Plymouth man, Treasurer of the Navy, of the Queen's Majesty's Marine Causes, and Comptroller of the Navy', "the rough veteran of many a daring voyage on the African and American seas, and of many a desperate
* CHARLES DUKE YONGE, Hist. Eng. ** Observations of Sir Richard Hawkins. Also, RALEGH's History of the World, book v, chap. i, sec. vi
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battle"* - the most distinguished sea officer of Queen Bess."** Hawkins hoisted his flag on board the Vidory. He was the senior officer in the fleet, and was at the beginning of the fight with Howard, who, as he had not much sea service, chiefly relied on his judgment and experience. Afterwards, when the fleet was divided into squadrons, Hawkins had the command of one of them. No English sailor bore so famous a name as Hawkins, under whom many commanders in the fleet had served as boys. He was the kinsman and patron of Drake, whom he first took to sea with him on his third voyage, in 1567. Hawkins was then an admiral, and about twelve years older than Drake, but he was twenty-five years his senior in the Queen's service.*** Young Drake had much to thank his patron for, as he gained great advantages under so able an instructor, the terror of the Spaniards and Portuguese - "Achines de Plimua," as the Spaniards called him, and the Portuguese "Johannes de Canes."
"It is not necessary to repeat here what has been so often told, the active part taken by Hawkins on that memorable occasion. He was appointed Vice-Admiral, commanded one of the four divisions, and was distinguished by the honour of Knighthood.**** His great troubles, as treasurer, only began after the dispersion of that fleet."
There was no one to whom "England in her hour of peril owed more, than to her Plymouth hero Sir John Hawkins."***** He alone had the whole control, responsibility, and anxiety of the outfit of every ship-not only being at the head of the dockyards, but employed as the collector of the ships' companies. Right well was that work done. "The royal fleet was Hawkins's work, and in preparing it he stood at the head of the naval power of the kingdom. He had also as large a share in the danger and honour of the fight as any man in the fleet."
On the 23rd May Howard ordered the whole fleet of near ninety sail to be victualled and made ready to put to sea with all expedition. He then cruised between Ushant and Scilly, to wait the coming of the enemy.
On shore preparations were also made. The militia in each county was armed ; the seaports fortified, and covered with 20,000 landsmen ; and orders were given, in case of the enemy landing, to lay the country waste round about, so that they might find no food.
* CREASY, Decisive Battles ** BARROW *** Vide page 25, where Hawkins is admiral of a Royal Fleet in 1567. Drakes first command was in the same year, when he sailed with Hawkins as a volunteer, as Captain of the Judith, a bark of 50 tons. **** Harl, MSS. Knights duhbed in the tyme of Queen Elizabeth, John Hawkins 1588. ***** BARROW'S Naval Worthies ****** WORTH
88 Spanish Armada Heroes.
There was a second army of 22,000 foot and 1000 horse, under command of the Earl of Leicester, at Tilbury, where the Queen reviewed her troops, and animated the soldiers by a speech.
The third army, of 34,000 foot and 2000 horse, under command of Lord Hudson, was destined to guard the Queen's person.
These preparations occupied the people, and freed them from the apprehensions of the danger they were in. They grumbled at no expense, and all were eased with the thoughts of contributing, as best they were able, towards the defence of their country, their religion, their liberties, and their Queen.
These great preparations on both sides for war did not prevent overtures for a peace from the Duke of Parma - whether it was only to divert and deceive Elizabeth, so that she and her country might be the more easily surprised, or that Parma was persuaded that he would be unsuccessful in the Netherlands till he could deprive them of the powerful help of England. Parma, at any rate, had obtained power from the King of Spain to treat, while his master prepared with his whole strength for the invasion of England.
But Elizabeth was too watchful and jealous of her enemies to be so easily deceived by pretensions of amity; and though she thought it politic not absolutely to reject his offers, and informed the Duke that she was well-disposed to an accommodation, yet she determined to arm herself at all events, and to discuss peace sword in hand-managing the negociations so dexterously, that they were spun out in fruitless debates till she was thoroughly prepared to receive the enemy, and Philip was obliged to pull off the mask, and confess his insincerity, when his great fleet was ready for sea.
In February, 1585, the Earl of Derby, William Brook, Lord Cobbain, James Crofts, Valentine Dale, and James Rogers had been sent into Flanders as commissioners to treat, but these conferences broke off abruptly in March.
Before the Armada left the Tagus the Duke of Medina Sidonia, commander-in-chief issued his orders, in the first article of which there is a clear declaration "that before all things it was to be understood by all the officers and others, from the highest to the lowest, that the principal foundation and cause moving the King's Majesty to make and continue this journey or expedition had been and was to serve God, and to deliver a great many good people, oppressed and kept in subjection to sectaries and heretics, from eternal -sorrow, and to restore them to the unity of His Church." After such a declaration, what could be expected from these Spanish Missionaries, whose arguments were the ensigns of death and destruction ? The bigoted adventurers, thus spirited with a notion of doing God service, as well as of enriching
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themselves by the spoil of the English nation, had already conquered in their vain imagination. And so, assured of a recompense whether they lived or died in so religious and advantageous a cause, they weighed and proceeded from the Tagus on the 15th May, and bent their course first for the Groyne.
Before they had been long at sea they were scattered by a violent storm off Cape Finisterre. Two of the galleys were run into a port of France by the stratagem of David Gwynn, an English slave, assisted by some of the Moorish slaves; and fourteen of their ships were drifted on to the Chops of the Channel, between Ushant and Scilly. Then, before they were met by the English fleet, a northerly wind conveyed them back to the Groyne (Corunna), where and in the neighbouring ports they and the rest of the fleet reassembled after the storm, in a disabled condition, to take in their soldiers and warlike provisions.
This mishap proved disastrous to the Spaniards, but was nearly attended with fatal consequences to the English, by creating a report all over Europe, and a belief in the English Council, that the whole Spanish fleet had been destroyed. Walsingham, by order from the Ministry, in the Queen's name ordered four of the best ships to be sent back into port, supposing that the Spaniards could not repair their damages and proceed till the next year. But the Lord High Admiral not being so credulous, and still fearing the worst, would not agree and retained the vessels; alleging how dangerous it was to place themselves off guard in a matter of such importance, when they had no better authority than hearsay, adding that he would rather keep the ships out at his own charge than expose the nation to so great a hazard.
On the 7th of June there was food for eighteen days only in the English fleet, and Devon could not furnish supplies: if the Spaniards had come at the end of that time the English must have gone into action starving.
On the 23rd of June the victuallers arrived at Plymouth, ten days late, bringing provisions for one month only, with orders that no more would be sent. This supply was distributed to last for six weeks. Four rations were served out to every six men; they did not complain, but many died from the effects of the poisonous beer served out. Howard ordered arrowroot and wine for the sick, for which he was afterwards called to account, when he paid the cost out of his own pocket.
On the 3rd of July Howard wrote to the Queen "For the love of Jesus Christ, madam, awake and see the villainous treasons round about you, against your Majesty and the realm."
* Sta. Pa. Dom. (Eliz)
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Lord Howard to Sir F Walsingham.
I HAVE divided myself into three parts and yet we lie within sight of another so as if any of us do discover the Spanish Fleet we give notice thereof presently, the one to the other, and thereupon repair and assemble together. I myself do lie in the middle of the Channel with the largest force. Sir Francis Drake has 20 ships and 4 or 5 pinnaces which lie towards Ushant and Mr Hawkins with as many more lies out towards Scilly. This are we fain to do, else with this wind, they might pass by and we never the wiser. From on board Her Majestys good ship Arke the 6th of July 1588. Your assured loving friend C. HOWARD
To the Right Honourable Sir Francis Walsingham Kt Principal Secty to Her Majesty.
Howard also dispatched light vessels to spy along the coast of England, France, and Spain; and being assured that no enemy was to be found at sea, resolved, by advice of his council, to take advantage of the next northerly wind, in order either to complete the destruction of the enemy's fleet, should it be already partially disabled, or otherwise to obtain a certain account of its condition. This Howard executed on the 8th of July; upon the 10th he had arrived within forty leagues of the Spanish coast, where, getting good intelligence that the enemy's fleet had not sustained the damage reported in England, and the wind shifting to the south, he, in compliance with his chief commission to guard the English coasts, immediately returned to the Channel, lest the same wind should give the enemy the advantage of getting there before him, and arrived at Plymouth with his whole fleet on the 12th of July. That the Lord High Admiral's judgment was wise appears from the arrival of the Spanish Armada off the Lizard on the 19th of the month, having been hastened to sea by the intelligence of an English fisherman, who, being taken and carried into the Groyne, said that the English, upon a report that the Spaniards were disabled from pursuing their design that year, had called home their fleet, and discharged the sailors that manned it; which determined them to deviate from their instructions, and to attempt, as a thing most feasible, to surprise, burn, or destroy all our ships in harbour unawares.
While the English fleet were at Plymouth waiting for the Armada, the weather became very stormy, and a severe south-westerly gale set in. Plymouth roadstead, undefended by a breakwater, was a dangerous anchorage, and to put to sea more dangerous still. Howard with the great ships took his chance, and lay rolling in the Sound, "dancing lustily as the gallantest dancer at Court;"
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the smaller ships went for shelter into Cattewater. The wind and rain continued, and the "oldest fisherman could not remember such a summer season." One satisfaction only Lord Howard found, and that a good one. Hawkins, at least, had done his share of the work rigbt excellently. The English ships were 'in royal and perfect state, feeling the seas no more than if they had been riding at Chatham.' Through the whole fleet not a spar was sprung, not a rope parted, timbers and cordage remained staunch and sound within and without. The Triumph and her four large consorts were grounded again and again 'to tallow and to wash.' They suffered nothing from the strain, and they were dry to the keel as Arabian sand."
Lord Howard to Sir F Walsingham.
SIR,-I have heard that there is in London some hard speeches against Mr Hawkins because the Hope came in to mend a leak which she had. Sir I think there were never so many of the Princes ships so long abroad and in such seas with such weather as these have had with so few leaks, and the greatest fault of the Hope came with ill grounding before our coming hither, and yet it is nothing to be spoken of; it was such a leak that I would have gone with it to Venice, but may they not be greatly ashamed, that sundry times have so disabled her Majestys ships which are the only ships in the world.
From Plymouth the 17th day of July 1588
Your very loving and assured friend
To the Right Honourable &c. Sir Francis Walsingham Kt Principal Secty to Her Majesty.*
On the 12th July the Armada, all repairs completed, had again assembled, and with a fair wind set sail from the Bay of Ferrol ; but before it had proceeded far, it was overtaken by another storm, which so scattered the great Spanish fleet, that it could hardly collect again until it came within sight of England, on the 19th. This same day Captain Fleming, in his little pinnace, quickly sailed into Plymouth and informed the Admiral that the Armada had been sighted off the Lizard.
At this moment most of the commanders and officers were ashore, tradition avers, but with no definite authority, playing at bowls on the Hoe. There was an instant bustle, and a calling for the ships' companies although it is said that Drake insisted that the match should be played out, "as there was plenty of time both to finish the game and beat the Spaniards after."
* Sta. Pa. Dom. (Eliz)
92 Plymouth Armada Heroes.
Howard was somewhat chagrined by the certain intelligence of the arrival of the enemy's fleet, because the wind being at south, and sometimes shifting to south-west, almost blocked the English fleet up in tbe Sound and Cattewater. But "the Lord High Admiral, with great difficulty, diligence, industry, and goodwill, encouraged the seamen to labour, not only by his presence, but by setting his hand to their work among them ; got most of his ships warped out into the open by next morning early, the 20th;" and there waited the approach of the enemy, whose fleet the English soon discovered to the west as far as Fowey, in the form of a half moon, the horns of which stretched out about seven or eight miles asunder, standing slowly under full sail up the Channel. The ships for size appeared like so many floating castles, under which the ocean seemed to groan.
Howard, considering it would be more advantageous to gain the wind of them, and so attack them in the rear, let them pass by.
That morning the Spaniards had captured a fishing-boat, from which they learnt that the English fleet was at Plymouth, and Medina Sidonia called a council of war, to consider whether they should go in, and fall upon it while at anchor. Philip's orders, however, were peremptory, that they should turn neither right nor left, but make straight for Margate Roads, and effect a junction with Parma. Had Medina's decision been otherwise, he would not, however, have seized the English ships; for before the Spaniards sighted the Lizard they had themselves been seen, and on the night of the 19th the beacons along the coast had told England that the Armada had come. Messengers galloped all over the country, and everywhere people armed and flocked to their posts.
It is said (but without foundation, for he had no chance of admiring it) that, when the Armada sailed past Plymouth harbour, the Duke of Medina Sidonia was so taken with the beauty of Mount Edgcumbe, that he declared that when England was conquered he intended to take it as his share of the spoil.
Next morning, Sunday, the 21st July, the English ships, about one hundred in all, being to windward of the Spaniards, two leagues west of the Eddystone, the Lord Admiral ordered his pinnace, the Defiance* to advance, and declare war against the Spaniards by the discharge of all her guns. This he immediately seconded himself in the Ark Royal attacking the Spanish ship commanded by De Leyva, which, on account of her bulk and station, he
* Another account says the Disdain, Captain Jonas Bradbury
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mistook for the Admiral, engaging her furiously, till she was rescued by several of her consorts. At the same time Hawkins, Drake, and Frobisher engaged the enemy's sternmost ships under Recalde, and threw them into such confusion as obliged Medina Sidonia to recall his scattered vessels, and to crowd all sail to continue on his course in order to join Parma, whom he expected off Calais, not knowing that he was blockaded in his ports by the English fleet under Seymour, and by the Dutch under Justin of Nassau. Nor could he do otherwise, because the wind stood fair for the English, whose light, active ships attacked, retired, and again attacked the Spaniards, on every side with incredible celerity. After two hours' running fight, Howard, however, thought good to retire, as forty of his ships had not yet come out of the haven.
On the same day a fast boat was sent on with letters to Lord Henry Seymour, reporting progress so far, and bidding him prepare in the Downs. Also an express was sent to London begging for an instant supply of ammunition.
The following night the Santa Catalina, a Spanish ship, being very much battered in this conflict, was received into the midst of the fleet to be repaired, and a huge Calabrian ship of Oquendo's, in which was the Treasurer to the Fleet, was set on fire with gunpowder by her Flemish gunner, in revenge for insults. The deck was blown off; and 200 seamen and soldiers were sent into the air; but the ship being strongly built, survived the shock. The fire was quenched by other ships sent for the purpose - amongst them the Capitana, a great galleon of 1200 tons, commanded by Pedro de Valdez, which, falling foul of the Santa Catalina, carried away her foremast. The night being dark and stormy, she could not keep station with the Spanish fleet; so she was forsaken, and captured by the Lord High Admiral. In this galleon were 450 men and 55,000 ducats in gold, part of which Howard took to pay the seamen their wages. Howard did not delay his pursuit of the Armada to secure his prize. De Valdez was taken prisoner. He was a great loss to the Spaniards, as he was the only officer of high rank in their fleet who was well acquainted with the Channel. The capture of this great ship was the cause of some dispute. First, Howard was charged with peculation, because, in need of money, he took gold for the men. Secondly, Drake, who took possession of the Capitana, conveyed her to Dartmouth; and Frobisher said, "He [Drake] thinketh to cozen us out of our share of the 15,000 ducats ; but we will have our share, or I will make him spend the best blood in his body, for he hath done enough of thos cozening tricks."
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What Frobisher and others thought of this affair is set forth in the following report, still among the State Papers.*
A NOTE of certaine speeches spoken by Sir Martyn Frobysher at Harwiche in the presence of dyvers persons as followeth The Lord Sheffilde Sir John Hawkins with others whose names I cannot recite.
The xth daye of August 1588 I arryved at Harwich and delyvered the letter sent by the Lord Admiral unto the Lord Shefyld whome I found in his bed in the howse of Mr. Kynge.
Firste after I had delivered my Lords letter the Lord Sheffilde bade me departe and so I did according to his commandment. Then immediatlyc he sent for me again at which tyme of my retorne I found there Sr John Hawkins Sr Martyn Frobysher with dyvers others whoe demanded of me in what safetye the Shipps were in and whether they were all at Margate or not.
Then Sr Martin Frobysher began some speaches as concernynge the service done in this action who uttered these speaches followinge, saying 5r Francis Drake reporteth that no man hath done any good service but he, but he shall well understand that others hath done as good service as he and better to. He came bragging up at the first indeed and gave them his prowe and his broadsyde and then kept his Lowfe and was glad that he was gone again lyke a cowardly knave or traytor I rest doubtfull but the one I will swear.
Further saith he he hath done good service indeed for he took Don Pedro for after he had seen her in the evening that she had spent her masts then like a coward he kept by her all night because he would have the spoil he thinketh to cossen us of our shares of xv thowsande duckattes but we will have our shares or I will make him spend the best blood in hys bellyc for he bath had enough of those cossenyng cheates alreadye.
He hath saith he used certain speeches of me which I will make him eat again or I will make him spend the best blood in his bellye.
Further more he said he reporteth that no man hath done so good service as he but he lyeth in his teeth for there are others that bath done as good as he and better to.
Then he demanded of me if we did not see Don Pedro over night or no unto the which I answered no, then he told me that I lied for she was seen to all the fleet unto the which I answered I would lay my head that not any one mail in the ship did see her until it was morning that we were within 2 or 3 Cables length of her where unto he answered I marye saith he you were within 2 or 3 cables length for you were no further off all night, but lay a hull by her where unto I answered no, fur we bare a good sail all night off and uu.
* Sta. Pa. Dom. (Eliz.) Vol. 214, No.63.
Then he asked me to what end we stood off from the fleet all night whom J answered that we hod escryed three or four hulkes and to that end we wrought so not knowing what they were. Then said he Sir Francis was appointed to bear a light all that night, which light we looked for but there was no light to he seen, and in the morning when we should have dealt with them there was not above five or six near unto the Admiral, by reason we saw not his light.
After this and many more speech which I am not able to remember the Lord Sheffeilde demanded of me what I was unto the which I answered, I had been in the Action with Sir Francis, in the Revenge this seven or eight months, then he demanded of me what art thou a soldier, no & like your Honour I answered, I am a mariner, then said he I have no more to say unto you, you may depart.
By me MATHEW STARKE.
All this written on the other side I do confess to be true as it was spoken by Sir Martyn Frobisher and doe acknowledge it in the presence of these parties whose names are here under written.
Captain Platt, Captain Vaughan, Mr. Gray Master of the Arke, John Gray Mr of the Revendge, Captain Spindloe.
Moreover he said that Sir Francis was the cause of all these troubles, and in this Action he showed him self the most Cowarde.
By me MATIIEW STARKE.
Medina Sidonia, seeing that Oquendo's ship was much damaged by the fire, and unfit for service, sent boats to save the unhurt men ; but the wounded they had no means of removing, so they were left in the ship, which the Spaniards set adrift. She was picked up early next morning by the English. Sir John Hawkins and Lord Thomas Howard went in a cock-boat of the Victory, and boarded her. They found everything in a miserable state from the effects of the explosion and the smell of the burnt dead bodies was over-powering. Perceiving that there was no force on board, they returned to the Admiral, who ordered a small bark to convey the wreck to Weymouth.
During the night of the 21st the enemy lay about fourteen miles off the Start, and next morning they were as far ahead and to leeward as the Berry, pursued by the Lord High Admiral with only the Bear and the Mary Rose, who kept within culverin shot all through the night ; whilst his fleet was so far astern, that in the morning the nearest could scarce be seen half-mast high, and very many were out of sight. This mishap was occasioned by Sir Francis Drake's neglect to show lights for their direction, as he had been ordered the day before in a council of war, held to settle the best method of pursuing, distressing,
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and fighting the enemy. Drake fell into this mistake by giving chase to five German merchant ships, which he had mistaken for tbe Spaniards. Thus the whole fleet was obliged to lay-to all that night, having no signals for their guidance; neither could he nor the rest of the English ships come near the Lord High Admiral until the following evening, 22nd July.
"The principall Galleon of Siuill (wherein Don Pedro de Valdez, and other noble men were embarqued) falling foule of another ship, had her foremast broken, and by that meanes was not able to keepe way with the Spanish Fleete, neither would the said Fleete stay to succour it, but left the distressed Galeon behinde. The Lord Admirall of England, when hee saw this ship of Valdez, and thought she had beene voide of marriners, and souldiers, taking with him as many ships as he could, passed by it, that hee might not loose sight of the Spanish Fleete that night. For Sir Francis Drake (who was notwithstanding appointed to beare out his Lanterne that night) was giving of chase unto five great Hulkes which had separated themselves from the Spanish Fleete: but finding them to be Easterlings, hee dismissed them. The Lord Admirall all that night following the Spanish Lanterne instead of the English, found himself in the morning to be in the middle of his enemies Fleete, but when he perceived it, he clevly conuered himself out of that great danger.*
The Duke of Medina Sidonia thus finding himself unmolested, used this advantage to spend the next day in the formation and ordering of his fleet. He commanded De Leyva to bring the first and last squadrons together, assigning each ship her station in battle, as agreed on in Spain ; and dispatched Ensign Glich as messenger to hurry the movements of Parma, and to inform him of the near approach of the Armada.
The night of the 22nd July was very calm, and the enemy's four galleases, separating from the main body, gave suspicion of a design on some of the smaller ships, which were still astern of the English fleet; but their courage failing they did nothing. However, on the 23rd July, off Portland, by daybreak the Spaniards tacked with the wind at north or north-east, and bore down upon the English, who also tacked and stood to the west or north-west. After several attempts to gain the weather-gage, the Spaniards at length came to another engagement, which resulted with some disorder and variety of success. In one place the English with undaunted courage rescued some ships of London, which were surrounded by the Spaniards, who with no less bravery rescued their Admiral Recalde from the hands of the English
* PURCHAS, also CAMDEN.
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The guns on each side rattled pretty smartly; but the round shot from the high Spanish ships, heeled over by the breeze, passed over the heads of the English without doing much harm. Only Captain William Cocke, in a small bark of his own, was killed, fighting bravely in the midst of the enemy. "Being a cock of the Game indeed, unus homo nobis pereundo restituit rem."* Besides, our ships being so much smaller and easier to handle, and also better sailed, attacked and retreated, delivered their broadsides, and sheered off just as they pleased; while the heavier Spanish ships, as slow as their masters, lay like so many butts for the English, at which they could not well miss their aim. This determined the Lord High Admiral not to grapple with or to board ships which were so superior to his in bulk, number, and hands; the Spaniards having an army on board, which the English had not; but rather to advance within musket-shot and batter the hulks of those monstrous galleons. The fight on the 23rd was continued from morning till night with great bravery, Howard being always in the hottest of the engagement, during which he took a great Venetian ship and several smaller ones. The thundering of the ordnance, it is said, was so great that the volleys of small shot, though incredible in number, were hardly seen or noticed.
On the 24th neither side seemed disposed to renew the struggle. The Spaniards wanted to gain time, in order to be joined by Parma. The English were deficient in powder and ball; as Sir Walter Ralegh afterwards observed in his Essay "Many of our great guns stood but as cyphers and scarecrows." Howard sent some ships to the shore to bring a supply of ammunition. No risk might be ventured, and the English lay now about six miles from the Armada, waiting till their magazines were refilled. Medina Sidonia, supposing them to be afraid, sent De Moncada with the galleases to engage them, and there was some skirmishing between the galleases and our ships, without any advantage to either side.
Howard, on receiving a fresh supply of powder and ball, divided his fleet into four squadrons, under himself; Hawkins, Drake, and Frobisher, and appointed pinnaces to attack the enemy in the dead of night on every side, which might have proved fatal to the Spaniards, but that, a calm following, his plan of attack could not be carried out.
On the night of the 24th Sir Gcorge Carey, who had run out from behind the Isle of Wight in a pinnace to see what was going on, found himself, at five in the morning, "in the midst of round shot, flying as thick as musket-balls in a skirmish on land."
* FULLER'S Worthies.
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This same calm proved the cause of the sharpest engagement on that day, July 25th, in sight of the Isle of Wight, for it prevented the Santa Anna, a great Portuguese galleon, from keeping up with the rest of the Armada. Sir John Hawkins contrived to lay the Victory alongside the Santa Anna, which he engaged in a single combat, and a smart engagement ensued, during which the rival fleets looked on - the Spaniards sure of their comrades' victory; for had not the storms and the difficulty of navigating the strange waters of the Channel alone prevented their conquering so weak a foe - the English proudly watching the daring of their champion. After a severe fight the English sailors boarded the Portuguese, and her brave captain yielded his sword to Hawkins. Down came the flag of Spain, and the British flag was hoisted in its place amidst a shout of triumph. The Spanish admiral seeing that Hawkins was victorious, ordered three of his largest galleases, under command of De Leyva and Diego Telles Enriques, to fall upon the Victory, and they were immediately taken to the spot, and poured in a broadside on the apparently-doomed Englishman. Then the Lord High Admiral in the Ark Royal came to the rescue of his brave officer, Hawkins, with Lord Thomas Howard in the Golden Lion, being towed to the galleases with their long-boats, and giving the Spaniards a warm reception.
After a most unequal fight, the Spanish ships being so much larger, and their men far outnumbering the English, they eventually drove off the galleases, and the Portuguese galleon was thus lost to Spain. One of the galleases had her lantern shot off; another lost her beak-head, and the third was terribly battered.
In the meantime Sir Martin Frobisher in the Triumph, to the north of the Spanish Fleet, was so far to leeward that, becoming apprehensive some of the enemy might weather her, she towed off with the help of several boats, and so recovered the wind. The Bear (Lord Edmund Shffield) and Elizabeth Jonas (Sir Robert Southwell) perceiving her in distress, bore down to her rescue, and by their boldness put themselves in like peril, but made their party good till they had recovered the wind. With this action the battle of the 25th July, which was the sharpest of the series of engagements against the "Invincible" Armada, ended.
The next day the Lord High Admiral, in consideration of their bravery, valour, and fortitude, conferred the honour of knighthood (then prized so highly because so jealously bestowed upon Admiral John Hawkins, on board his own ship the Victory, Admiral Martin Frobisher of the Triumph Lord Thomas Howard of the Golden Lion, Lord Sheffield (the Lord High
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Admiral's nephew) of the Bear, and the commanders of the Mary Rose and the Nonpariel*
It is a remarkable fact that these were almost the only officers who received the honour of knighthood during the many engagements against the Armada. Even lords were knighted in those days, it being considered a mark of the greatest distinction, as while a man might be born in the peerage, his knight hood could only come of the highest personal merit.
No decisive engagement followed this glorious fight; for it was determined at a council of war, and Howard with his usual prudence waited - as the English were short of powder and ball - to put off a general engagement until the Armada had reached the straits of Dover.
The Spanish Admiral, however, sent another messenger to hasten the junction with Parma, and to ask him to send some great shot for the use of the Armada, which continued the course up Channel, with the wind at south-west by south, closely pursued by the English.
This so animated the people on shore that many of the nobility and gentry hired ships, and in great numbers sailed to join the Lord High Admiral - as a whole country side on shore falls in at a fox hunt (or as Wotton described it, it was like "a morris dance upon the waters ") - to share in the honour of the certain destruction of the "Invincible" foe. Amongst them were the Earls of Oxford, Northumberland, and Cumberland, Sir Thomas and Sir Robert Cecil, Sir Henry Brooke, Sir Charles Blunt, Sir Walter Ralegh, Sir William Hatton, Sir Robert Cary, Sir Ambrose Willoughby, Sir Thomas Gerrard, Sir Arthur Gorges, with other men of note; and this squadron proved of considerable service.
On the 27th July the Spanish fleet, lest they should be forced by the current into the Northern Ocean, anchored before Calais ; and "that same night the few Flemish pilots slipped overboard in the darkness, stole the cock-boats, set their shirts for sails, and made for Flushing, leaving the Duke of Medina Sidonia dependent on the imperfect knowledge of the Spanish shipmasters, and their still more imperfect charts."
On the 28th Lord Henry Seymour and Sir William Winter joined the English fleet with their squadron, and forty London privateers were reported to be in the Thames but ships and men were useless without food. Seymour was victual led but for one day's full meat." Howard, with great economy, but for five scanty dinners and one breakfast. Provisions and powder had not arrived. "Burleigh tried to borrow money in the city, but with the appearance
100 Plymoulh Armada Heroes.
of the Spaniards his credit there had sunk, and the prudent merchants had drawn their purse strings till the cloud had dispersed."
The English fleet anchored as near the Armada as convenient, being now increased to 140 sail of stout ships and good sailors; though the main stress of the several engagements was borne by no more than fifteen or sixteen ships, upon whom fell the, chief weight and burden of the war. This situation showed that the Spanish expedition had come to its crisis; the Spaniards, convinced of danger, again sent to the Duke of Parma, with an urgent request to send forty fly-boats to their assistance, and to speedily forward his army. These messengers got ashore, but judged rightly that it was not in the Duke's power to join them with his army while Nassau blocked the harbours (and prevented Parma's fleet sailing).
On this day, while both fleets were then riding at anchor, Queen Elizabeth ordered the Lord High Admiral to single out eight ships (two of which belonged to Sir Richard Hawkins), and to cover them with pitch, lining them well 'with' brimstone, and combustible matter, and also loading their cannon with destructive missiles, and to send them before the wind with a fair tide, about midnight, under the command of Captains Young and Prowse, into the midst of the Armada. This order was carried out, and the fire-ships arriving at safe distance, they lit the trains, and retired. The approach and great blaze of these ships on fire was no sooner discovered, than it threw the whole Armada into the utmost consternation. Many of the Spaniards had been at the siege of Antwerp, and seen the destructive machines used there; so, suspecting that these vessels were full of suchlike engines, in a panic they cut their cables, and put to sea in the greatest haste and confusion. Spanish authorities themselves admit that their Admiral, upon the approach of the fire-ships, gave the signal for weighing anchor, to avoid that danger; but add that he also ordered each, ship, after the danger was over, to take up her former station. The Spanish Admiral, in the San Martin, returned, and fired a signal-gun for the rest to do the same, to which little attention was paid. Many tried to make their rendezvous off Gravelines, and some were so dispersed to sea, or among the shoals on the Flemish coast, that they could not even hear the signal. Wherever the English could sight them, they pursued and plied them so warmly with shot, that some were sunk, others ran ashore, and all were much damaged.
One of the galleases, having lost her rudder, was cast upon the sands before Calais, and was picked up next day, the 29th, by Sir Amias Preston, Sir Thomas Gerrard, and Harvey, with 100 men, in a long-boat - but not
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without a sharp and doubtful dispute, in which De Moncada, her captain, being struck with two musket-balls at the same moment, which pierced both his eyes, fell dead. Sir Amias, having overpowered the crew, either drove them overboard, or put them to the sword, releasing 300 galley-slaves, and taking 50,000 gold ducats. This ship was called the "Admiral," or chief galleas, and was claimed by, and left as a wreck to, the Governor of Calais.
While this was going on, Sir Francis Drake in the Revenge, accompanied by Captain Thomas Fenner in the Nonpareil with the rest of that squadron, set upon the Spanish fleet, giving them a hot charge.
Then Sir John Hawkins in the Victory, with Captain Edward Fenton in the Mary Rose, Captain George Beeston in the Dreadnought and Captain Richard Hawkins in the Swallow, and the rest of that squadron, put themselves forward, and broke through the midst of the Spanish fleet, where there began a vehement conflict continuing all the morning, and wherein every captain did very honourable service - Edward Fenton, Richard Hawkins, George Ryman, and Robert Crosse signally distinguishing themselves.
The Spanish ships that kept at sea, early next morning (31st July), retreated through the Straits of Dover; but the wind springing up with hard gales at north-west, forced them towards the coast of Zealand (the San Philip and the San Matthew had been taken at Flushing). The English, knowing that if this wind continued it would distribute the Spanish ships amongst the sands and shallows of that coast, discontinued the chase.
Sir John Hawkins, writing from on board the Victory on this day says, "Our ships, God be thanked, have received little hurt;" and complains that "the men have been long unpaid, and need relief."*
But to return to the Armada. The wind had changed to the south-west-by-west, and this (by hauling their wind) carried them away from the treacherous shoals; but still the Spaniards were in the greatest distress. Without pilots; their best officers gone; De Valdez and Toledo prisoners; Pimentel left on the coast of Flanders; Moncada shot; while Diego Florez, the Castilian Admiral, had lost heart. The Duke of Medina Sidonia now asked Oquendo, "What are we to do? We are lost! What are we to do?" "Let Diego Florez talk of being lost," replied Oquendo. "Let your Excellency bid me order up the cartridges."
That evening the Dons held a council of war, to consider what was to be done with the remains of the Armada; and it was resolved that, as they were in want of necessaries, especially of cannon-ball, and as their ships were miserably
* Vide letter, pages 49,50.
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torn and shattered, a great number of their soldiers slain, their provisions short, and water spent, many of their men sick and wounded - further, that there were no, hopes of Parma coming out to join them - they had no course left but to return to Spain by the north of the British Isles. Pursuant to this resolution, having thrown their horses and mules overboard, to save water and to lighten their ships, they made all the sail they could, followed by the Lord High Admiral till he saw them clear of the Firth of Forth, where, had they anchored, he had taken measures to destroy them entirely. But the Spaniards kept on their course round by the Orkneys, the Western Islands, and Ireland, amongst which they suffered great losses from their ignorance of the coasts and the accidents of the weather and heavy seas. Several ships were stranded on the coast of Scotland;* their men, to the number of 700, getting ashore, were by consent of Elizabeth delivered by James I. to Parma. Other ships were wrecked on the Irish coast, but the Lord Deputy, Sir William Fitzwilliam, either put their crews to the sword, or had them executed, lest they should join with his own rebellious people.
"When I was at Sligo," wrote Sir Geoffry Fenton, "I numbered on one strand, of less than five miles length, 1100 dead bodies of men which the sea had driven upon the shore. The country people told me the like was in other places, though not to the like number."
The English fleet was now short of supplies. From Dunbar an express had been sent to London, to beg that food and ammunition might be sent to Margate for the fleet. "Hunger, however, was an enemy that would not fly. Storm or no storm, unless Howard could recover the Thames, his case would be as bad as Sidonia's; and he beat back in the face of the gale, Hawkins's spars and cordage standing proof against all trials. Off the Norfolk coast the wind became so furious that the fleet was scattered. Howard, with the largest of the ships, reached Margate. Others were driven into Harwicb, and rejoined him when the weather moderated."**
On the 9th August food arrived. The month's victuals served out on the 23rd June had been made to last seven weeks, and the three days' rations with which the fleet had left the Forth had lasted for eight days. The crews were starving. The excitement of the war was over, and the men were ill and dispirited; scanty food and the bad beer provided brought sickness, and
* At the time of the Spanish Armada the King of Scots wittily told Sir Henry Sidney, Ambassador in Scotland, "That hee expected no courtesie from the King of Spaine, but that favour which Polyphemus promised Ulysses; namely, that when he had devoured the others, he should be his last morsell." ** FROUDE
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boatloads of sailors were carried ashore, and were laid down to die in the streets, there being no place in the town to receive them. The officers did their best, and some were taken to barns and outhouses. "It would grieve any man's heart," said Howard, in his letter to Burleigh, August 20th, "to see men who bad served so valiantly die so miserably." And again, in a letter from Howard to the Council, dated 22nd August, he refers to the great sickness among the men. Of "present necessity there must be sent down for the payment of them unto the 25th of August, whereof I leave Sir John Hawkins to certify the Lord Treasurer in more particulars from himself." *
They sickened one day and died the next. In the battle before Gravelines not sixty in all had been killed; before a month was out there was hardly a ship which had enough men to weigh the anchors. The disorder was traced to the poisonous beer. But this was still served out. The sick wanted fresh food, but were dieted with salt beef and fish as usual. The men's wages were still unpaid, so that they were unable to provide necessaries for themselves, and Sir John Hawkins had to remind the Government that the pay of those who died was still due to their relatives.
"Your Lordship may think that by death, discharging of sick, etc., something may be spared in the general pay. Those that die their friends require their pay. For those which are discharged, we take up fresh men, which breeds a far greater charge," writes Hawkins to Burleigh, August 26th. **
How the men were got the following entry shows:
1588 19 Sep Item to John Fysher for caryinge a letter to my Lord Sheffield and Sir John Hawkins at Harwich touching the pressing of certain marryners for her Majesty's ship royall called the Whight Beare xxd.
The greatest service ever done by an English fleet had been thus successfully accomplished by men whose wages had not been paid from the time of their engagement, with their clothes in rags, and falling off their backs. "It were marvellous good a thousand pounds' worth of hose, doublets, shoes, shirts, and such like were sent down with all exPeditioy,~else in a very short time I look to see most of the mariners go naked," wrote Howard to Burleigh, on the '20th August And so ill-found were they in the necessaries of war that they had eked out their ammunition by what they could take in action from the enemy himself. "In the desire for victory they had not stayed for the spoil of any of the ships that they lamed." There was no prize money coming as reward. Their own country was the prize for which they had fought and conquered.
* Sla. Pa. Dom. (Eliz.) ** Vide letter, page 52.
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They had earned, if ever Englishmen had earned anywhere, the highest honour and recompense the Government could bestow.
When the accounts were made up, Howard was obliged to defend himself against a charge of peculation brought against him for taking the 3000 pistoles out of the Capitana, to defray the expenses of the fleet. On the 27th August he wrote to Walsingham, "I did take them as I told you I would: for, by Jesus, I had not £3 left in the world, and have not anything that could get money in London - my plate was gone before. But I will repay it within ten days after my coming home. I pray you let her Majesty know so; and by the Lord God of Heaven, I had not one crown more, and had it not been of mere necessity, I would not have touched one; but if I had not some to have bestowed upon some poor, miserable man, I should have wished myself out of the world."*
The worst meanness was yet to come. A surcharge appeared in the accounts of £620 for "extraordinary kinds of victual, wine, etc., distributed among the ships at Plymouth for the relief of the sick and wounded men." Howard begged the Queen to pass this charge; but a further sum for the same purpose Howard struck out of his account-book, adding, "I will myself make satisfaction as well, as I may, so that her Majesty shall not be charged withal."
Howard perhaps, as a nobleman whose father had received large benefactions from the Crown, and to whom afterwards Elizabeth was moderately liberal, might have been expected to contribute at a time of need. The same excuse will not cover the treatment of Sir John Hawkins, who owed nothing to any crowned head. Hawkins, as we have seen, had not only been at the head of the dockyards, but had collected the ships' companies, and settled their wages. No English vessels ever sailed out of port in better condition; no English sailors ever did their duty better. But Elizabeth had changed her mind so often in the spring - engaging seamen and then dismissing them, and then engaging others - that between charges and discharges the accounts had naturally grown intricate. Hawkins worked hard to clear them, and spent his own fortune freely to make the figures satisfactory. But the Queen, who had been the cause of the confusion, insisted on an exactness of statement which it was difficult, if not impossible, to give; and Hawkins in a petition, in which he described himself as a ruined man, sued for a years respite to disentangle the disorder.
In spite of Queen Elizabeth's careful economy in her affairs, the country's debts had greatly increased during the time of the Spanish invasion. To meet these and other charges it was necessary to raise money independently of the taxes. Howard was lamenting that the Queen had starved the seamen,
* Sta. Pa. Dom. (Eliz.)
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and Hawkins wrote that £19,000 in arrears were actually due to the men. Lord Treasurer Burleigh was quite unable to send £8000, the amount immediately required. To meet the immediate want of money, the Queen borrowed, by way of loan, of 2416 of her subjects, as set forth in a printed list, dated 1589, out of the thirty-six counties in England, a sum approaching £75,000, a very great amount in those days, especially after the country had been put to so great an expense in preparations against the Armada. Letters were sent by the Queen to Sir Francis Walsingham, Keeper of the Privy Seal, and by him forwarded to the lieutenants of the various shires, to require the raising of the loan.
On looking over this list, which has been reprinted, by Mr. Noble, it seems strange that very few if any of the chief commanders against the Armada appear to have contributed, except Admiral Sir John Hawkins, who gave £100, and his brother Captain William Hawkins £25.
The remains of the "invincible" fleet at last arrived on the coast of Spain in a most deplorable condition. Several of the ships, unable to repair the damages received in battle, had foundered at sea; many others were wrecked; and as most of the people in them perished, those who lived to return home were laden with shame and dishonour. The Duke of Medina himself was forbid the Court. He had brought back only 53, or at most 60 shattered vessels, out of the 132 he had started with, and this so enraged Philip that he would hardly have escaped with his life except for his wife's influence at Court. Some say that Philip received the news of the ill-success of his fleet with heroic patience, and thanked God that it was no greater; that he coolly said "that he had sent his fleet to fight against the English, and not against the winds." This story probably originated with the accounts given by the dispirited Spaniards on their return of the valour of the English, and the tempests of these seas.
But Anthony Coppley, an English fugitive in Spain at that time, declares that when the news was brought, Philip being at mass, as soon as it was over swore "that he would waste and consume his Crown, even to the value of a candlestick (pointing to one on the altar); but either he would utterly ruin Her Majesty and England, or else himself and all Spain should become tributary to her." He ordered Flores de Valdez, who had persuaded the Duke to break the King's instructions, to be seized, and he was carried to the Castle of Saint Andrea and never again heard of. Recalde and Oquendo died within a few days after their arrival ; De Leyva, after being three times wrecked, had been drowned off the coast of Ireland.
106 Plymouth Armada Heroes.
Howard, on the contrary, having chased the Spaniards from the English coasts,bent his sails and steered homeward, arriving safe in the Downs with his whole fleet, to join in the acclamations and thanksgivings of the whole nation for so great a deliverance, with the loss of one small ship and 100 men; though the loss of the Spanish nobility and gentry on board the Armada was so great that there was scarcely a family in Spain but was in mourning, and Philip was obliged by proclamation to shorten the usual time.
In the several fights during July and August between the two navies in the Channel, the Spaniards lost 15 great ships and 4791 men; in September, on the coast of Ireland, 17 ships and 5394 men. Stow tells us that in all they lost 81 ships and upwards of 13,500 men.
On the 12th August victory was declared. The Queen commanded public prayer and thanksgiving to, be made in all the churches of England; and on the 24th November, 1588, went herself in triumph from Somerset House, through Temple Bar, to St. Paul's to return thanks to God; listened to the sermon, and caused the Spanish colours taken in the war to be set up there and shown, to the people.
QUEENE ELIZ ROYALLE PROCEEDING IN STATE FROM SOMER5ETT PLACE TO ST. PAUL'S CHURCH. 1588. No. 24.
Messengers of the Chamber, } Servants to Ambassadors. Gentlemen Harbingers } Gentlemen, } Her Maties, Servants. Esquires } Trumpetts. Sewers of the Chamber. Gentlemen Huishers. The six Clerks of ye Chancery. Clerkes of Starr Chamber. Clerkes of the Signet. Clerkes of the Privie Seale. Clerkes of the Councell. Chaplains haveing dignityes as Deanes &C Masters of the Chancery. Aldermen of London. Knts Batchelors. Knts Officers of the Admiralty. The Judge of the Admiralty. The Dean of the Arches. The Solliciter and Attorney Generall.
The Hawkins Family. 107
Sergeants at the Law. The Queens Serjeants. Barons of the Exchequer.
A Pursuy Judges of the Coihon pleas. A Pursuy of Armes. Judges of the King's Bench. of Armes. The Ld, Cheif Baron and the Lord Cheif Justice of the Common Pleas. The Master of the Rolls and the Ld Cheif Justice of the Kings Bench. The Queens Doctors of Physicke. The Master of the Tents, and the Master of the Revels The Leivtenant of the Ordnance. The Leivt of the Tower. The Master of the Armorie. Knts that had been Ambrs. Knts that had been Deputyes of Ireland The Master of the Great Wardrobe.
A Pursuy of Armes. The Masters of the Jewell House A Pursuy of Armes Esquires for the Body, and Gentlemen of the Privie Chamber. Trumpetts. The Queens Cloake and Hatt borne by a Knt or an Esqr. Barons younger sons. KntB of the Bath. Lancaster. Knts Banneretts. York Viscounts younger sons. Barons eldest sonnes. Earles younger sonnes. Viscounts eldest sonnes. Secretaryes of her Maty. Knights of the Privy Councell. Somerset. Knts of the Garter. Richmond. Principall Secretary. Vicechamberlaine. Comptroller and Treasurer of the Household Barons of the Parliament. Chester. Bishopps. The Ld Chamberlaine of the House, } being Barons. The Ld Admirall of England } Marquesses younger sonns. Earles Eldest sons. Viscounts. Dukes younger sonnes. Marquesses eldest sonnes. Norroy King of Armes. Earles. Dukes Eldest sonnes.
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Marquesses. Dukes. Clarencieux K. of Armes. The Almoner. The Master of ye Requests. The Lord High Treasurer of England. The Arch Bishopp of Yorke. The Lord Chancellor of England. The Arch Bishopp of Canterbury. The French Ambassador.
Garter King The Mayor of A Gent Huisher of Armes. London. of ye Privy Chamber.
Lord Great Chamberlaine of England. Earle Marshall of England
Serjeants Sword borne by the Lord Marquesse. Serjeants at Armes at Armes
The Queens Matie in her Chariot Her Highnesse traine borne by the Marchioness of Winchester. The Palfry of Honnor led by the Master of the Horse. The Cheif Lady of Honnor All other Ladyes of Honor. The Captain of the Guard. Yeomen of the Guard.
[Endorsed] Sr Wm Segar's Marshalling of a Proceeding in state in Queen Eliz. time. 1588.
The Hawkins Family. 109
An annual Thanksgiving Service for the Victory against the Spanish Armada was endowed by Mr. Chapman, ob. 1616. In 1877 it was held at St. Mary le Bow.
The Lord High Admiral Charles Lord Howard of Effingham was rewarded with a considerable pension. Admiral John Hawkins, Lord Thomas Howard, Admiral Frobisher, and a very few others received the honour of knighthood. For the rest, their rewards consisted more in words than in deeds. The Queen highly praised her brave sea captains as men born for the preservation of their country, and that they took as reward for their services. The wounded, maimed, and poor sailors were recompensed with pensions.
Never was collapse more complete. Not a Spaniard set foot on English soil but as a prisoner. One English ship only, of small size, became the prize of the invaders. Farma did not venture to embark a man. The King of Scots, standing firm to his alliance with Elizabeth, afforded not the slightest succour to the Spanish ships driven upon the Scottish coasts. The Lord Deputy in Ireland caused the shipwrecked Spaniards to be killed, fearing a rebellion of the Irish if the Spaniards joined them.
And so the miserable remnant of the Invincible Armada returned to Spain.
Several medals were struck in memory of this glorious victory, some in honour of the Queen, on which were engraved fire-ships among a confused fleet, and the inscription, "Une Femme a conduiet ceste action" ("A woman conducted this action"), because it was said that the idea of sending the fire-ships into the midst of the Armada was the Queen's thought.*
Other medals had a fleet graven under full sail and hastening away, with the inscription, "Il est venu, il a vu, il a fuy" ("Hee came, Hee saw, Hee fledde").
The Zealanders, whose very existence depended upon the success of the English, also coined medals in honour of the victory, one representing the Spanish fleet in great confusion, with this motto, "Impius fugit, nemine sequente" ("The wicked fled, no one pursuing"). And, again, another memorial had the motto, "Efflavit Deus et dissipantur" ("God blew, and they were scattered)."
Among the most interesting relics of the Armada fight were the tapestries, reproduced in the accompanying engravings; made to the order of the Lord
* MARTIN'S Hist. Eng.
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High Admiral, from the designs of Henry Cornelius de Vroom, born at Haarlem, 1566, marine painter, as recorded in the following note:
The Great Earl of Nottingham Lord High Admiral of England whose defeat of Ye Spanish Armada had established ye Crowne of his mistress, being desirous of preserving the detail of that illustrious event, had bespoken a suit of tapestry describing the particulars of each day's engagement; Francis Spiering, an eminent maker of tapestry, took ye work, and engaged Vroom to draw the designs.
Abstract of King James' Revenue (p.15), at the end of Fulk. Greville's Lord Brooke Toutte brought to light:
To the Earl of Nottingham for the Hangings of the Story of the Fight in 1588, containing 708 Flemish Ells at 10l 6s the ell, in all 1628l.
The hangings adorned the House of Lords, and were engraved by John Pine in 1739. They were burnt, with partial exceptions, in the fire in the Houses of Parliament, in 1834.
A DECLARATION OF THE PROCEEDINGS OF THE TWO FLEETS.*
1588 July 19. -Upon Friday by the 19th of the present month part of the Spanish navy, to the number of 50 sail, was discovered about the Isles of Scilly hoving in the wind as it seemed, to attend the rest of the fleet, and the next day,
20 (Saturday) at 3 of the clock in the afternoon the Lord Admiral got forth with our navy out of Plymouth then with some difficulty the wind being at S.W., notwithstanding through the great travail used by our men, they not only cleared the harbour but also the next day being
21. -Sunday, about 9 of the day in the morning recovered the wind of the whole fleet, which being thoroughly descried was found to consist of 120 sail great and small. At the same instant the Lord Admiral gave them fight within the view of Plymouth from which the Mayor [William Hawkins] with others sent them continually supplies of men till they were past their coast. This fight continued till one of the clock the same day, wherein the enemy was made to bear room with some of his ships to stop their leaks. The same day by accident of fire happening in one of their great ships, there were blown up with powder about 120 men, the rest being compelled to leave her, and so she was by the Lord Admiral sent into the west part of England.
* Sta. Pa. Dom. (Eliz.) Vol.214, 42 1.
The Hawkins Family. 111
22.-Upon Monday the 22, one of the chief galleons wherein was Dom Pedro de Valdez with 450 men, was taken by reason of his mast that was spent with the breaking of his BOARE SPITT, so as he presently yielded with sundry gentlemen of good quality.
23.-On Tuesday the 23 the Lord Admiral chased the enemy who had then gotten some advantage of the wind and thereupon seemed more desirous to abide our force. Then fell in fight with them over against St. Albans about 5 of the clock in the morning the wind being at N.E., and so continued with great force on both sides till late in the evening, when the wind coming again to the S.W. and somewhat large they. began to go roomewardes.
24.-The same night, and all Wednesday, the Lord Admiral kept very near unto the Spanish fleet and upon Thursday the 25th over against Dunnose part of the Isle of Wight the Lord Admiral espying Captain Frobisher with a few other ships to be in a sharp fight with the enemy and fearing they should be distressed did with 5 of his best ships beare up towards the admiral of the Spanish fleet, and so breaking into the heart of them began a very sharp fight by which 2 or 3 score one of the other until they had cleared Captain Frobisher and made them give peace.
26 (~riday).-The next day being the 26 the Lord Admiral onely con- tinued his pursuit of the enemy having still encreased his provisions and keeping the wind of them.
27.-Upon Saturday the 27 about 8 of the clock at night the Lord Henry Seymour Admiral in the Narrow Seas joined with the Lord Howard in Whitsand Bay over against the cliffe of Callice, and anchored together and the Spanish fleet rode also at anchor to leeward of the Lord Admiral and nearer to Callice road.
28 (Sunday).-The 28 the Lord Admiral prepared seven ships with pitch, tar and other necessaries for the burning of some of the enemy's fleet and at 11 of the clock at night the wind and tide serving put the stratagem in execution the event whereof was done. Upon Monday the 29 early in the morning the Admiral of the enemy's Galleasses riding next to our fleet let slip her anchor and cable to avoid the fires, and driving athwart another Galleass, her cable took hold of the other rudder, and broke it clean away, so that with her oars she was fayn to get into Callace Road for relief; all the rest of the Spanish fleet either cut or let slip their anchors and cables, set sail and put to the sea, being chased from that Road.
Afterwards the Lord Admiral sent the Lieutenant of his own ship with a hundred of his principal men in a long boat to recover the Galleass so distressed near Callace, who after some sharp fight with the loss of some men was possessed of her, and having slain a great number of the enemies, and namely their Captain General of the four Galleases, called D. Hugo de Montcaldo, son to the Viceroy of Valencia, with divers gentlemen of good reckoning carried prisoners to the English fleet. In this pursuit of the fireworks by our
112 Plymouth Armada Heroes.
force the Lord Howard in fight spoiled a great number of them sank three and drove four or five on the shore so as at that time it was assured that they had lost at the least sixteen of their best ships. The same day after the fight the Lord Howard followed the enemy in chase, the wind continuing at the West and South West who bearing room northwards directly towards the Isles of Scotland were by his Lordship followed near land until they brought themselves within the height of 55'.
30th (Tuesday).-The 30th, one of the enemy's great ships was espied to be in great distress by the Captain of H.M. Ship called the Hope who being in -speech of yielding unto the said Captain before they could agree on certain conditions soncke presently before their eyes.
31 (Wednesday).-It is also advertized that the 31st two of their great ships being in the like distress and grievously torn in the fight aforesaid, and since taken by certain Hollanders and brought into Flushing. The principal person of the greatest of them is called Dom Piedmontello being also one of the Maestridel Campo.
THE ENGLISH FLEET.
The following is a statement of the English fleet against the Armada in 1588.
Men-of-war belonging to her Majesty . ' . . . 17 Other ships hired by the Queen . . . 12 Tenders and store-ships or pinnaces . . . 6
Furnished by City of London, being double the number demanded by the Queen, well manned, ammunitioned, and provisioned 16 Tenders and store-ships or pinnaces . . . . 4 Furnished by City of Bristol, large and strong . . .3 Tender or pinnace . . . . . . 1 From Barnstaple, merchant ships converted into frigates 3 From Exeter, ships . . . . . 2 A stout pinnace . . . . . 1 From Plymouth, stout ships every way equal to the Queen's men-of-war . 7 A fly boat. . . . . . . 1 Under Lord Henry Seymour in the Narrow Seas of the Queen's ships and vessels in her service . . . . 16 Ships fitted out at the expense of the nobility, gentry, and commons of England . . . . . . 41 One pinnace of the Lord High Admiral's, the Defiance . . 1 Another of Lord Sheffield . . . . . 1 By Merchant Adventurers, prime and well furnished . . 10 Sir Wm Winter's pinnace . . . . . 1 Total . . . 143 ships
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LIST OF THE QUEEN'S SHIPS AND PINNACES.* Tonnage. Name. Men. Admirats and Captains 800 The Ark Royal . 400 Carrying the flag of Charles, Lord Howard of Effingham, Lord High Admiral of England. 800 Vidory 400 Admiral Sir John Hawkins (born in 1532), Treasurer and Comptroller of the Navy, the senior officer in the fleet Captain R. Barker. 1000 The Triumph. 500 Vice-Admiral Sir Martin Frobisher. 900 Bear . . . 500 Lord Edmund Sheffield. [The Bear was the Lord High Admiral's ship before the Ark Royal.] 900 Elizabeth Jonas . 500 Sir Robert SouthwelL 600 Mary Rose . 250 Capt. Edward Fenton (Sir John Hawkins's brother-in-law). 500 Nonpareil . 250 Thomas Fenner. 500 Golden Lion . 250 Lord Thomas Howard (born in 1561; eldest son of the fourth Duke of Norfolk). 6oo Elizabeth Bonaventure 250 George Clifford, Earl of Cumberland (born 1558). [Bonaventure, built in 1560, ran on a sandbank in 1588, but got off without hurt] 6oo Hope . . . 250 Robert Cross. 500 Revenge . . 250 Sir Francis Drake, Vice-Admiral of a squadron of volunteers. 500 Rainbow . . 250 Lord Henry Seymour, in command of the squadron in the Narrow Seas. 500 Vanguard . 250 Sir William Winter, also in the Narrow Seas. 500 Dreadnought . 200 Sir George Beston. 340 Antelope . 160 Sir Henry Palmer. 300 Swallow . . 160 Richard Hawkins (only son of Sir John; afterwards Sir Richard Hawkins). 360 Swiftsure . 180 Edward Fenner. 300 Foresight . 160 Christopher Baber, gent. 250 Gally Bonavolia 256 William Bourough, Esq.
* In addition to this list were the Volunteer Squadrons.
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Tonnage. Name. Men. Captains.
240 Aid- . . . 120 William Fenner, gent. 200 Bull . . . . 100 Jeremy Turner, gent. 200 Tiger . . . . 100 John Bostocke, gent. 150 Tremountain . . . 70 Luke Ward, gent. 120 George . . . . 30 Richard Hodges. 120 Scout . . . . 70 Henry Ashley, Esq. 100 Achates . . . . 6o Gregory Riggs, gent. 70 Charles . . . . 40 John Roberts, gent. 60 Moon . . . . 40 Alexander Clifford. 50 Advice . . . . 35 John Harris. 50 Spye . . . . 35 Ambrose Ward. 50 Martyne . . . 35 Walter Goare. 40 Sun . . . . 24 Richard Buckley. 30 Cygnet . . . . 20 John Sherrife. Brigandine . . . 36 Thomas Scott.
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