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A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume VII by Robert Kerr

Part 9 out of 11

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merchants of London sailed with merchandise for various ports within the
Straits of Gibraltar; all of which, having fair wind and weather,
arrived safe at their destined ports. Among these was the Centurion of
London, a very tall ship of large burden, yet but weakly manned, as
appears by the following narrative.

The Centurion arrived safe at Marseilles, on her outward bound voyage,
where, after delivering her goods, she remained better than five weeks,
taking in lading, and then intended to return to England. When she was
ready to come away from Marseilles, there were sundry other ships of
smaller burden at that place, the masters of which intreated Robert
Bradshaw of Limehouse, the master of the Centurion, to stay a day or two
for them till they could get in readiness to depart, saying that it were
far better for them all to go in company for mutual support and defence,
than singly to run the hazard of falling into the hands of the Spanish
gallies in the Straits. On which reasonable persuasion, although the
Centurion was of such sufficiency as might have been reasonably hazarded
alone, yet she staid for the smaller ships, and set out along with them
from Marseilles, all engaging mutually to stand by each other, if they
chanced to fall in with any of the Spanish gallies.

Thus sailing altogether along the coast of Spain, they were suddenly
becalmed upon Easter-day in the Straits of Gibraltar, where they
immediately saw several gallies making towards them in a very gallant
and courageous manner. The chief leaders and soldiers in these gallies,
were bravely apparelled in silken coats, with silver whistles depending
from their necks, and fine plumes of feathers in their hats. Coming on
courageously, they shot very fast from their calivers upon the
Centurion, which they boarded somewhat before ten o'clock A.M. But the
Centurion was prepared for their reception, and meant to give them as
sour a welcome as they could; and having prepared their close quarters
with all other things in readiness, called on God for aid, and cheered
one another to fight to the last. The Centurion discharged her great
ordnance upon the gallies, but the little ships her consorts durst not
come forward to her aid, but lay aloof, while five of the gallies laid
on board the Centurion, to whom they made themselves fast with their
grappling irons, two on one side and two on the other, while the admiral
galley lay across her stern. In this guise the Centurion was sore galled
and battered, her main-mast greatly wounded, all her sails filled with
shot holes, and her mizen mast and stern rendered almost unserviceable.
During this sore and deadly fight, the trumpeter of the Centurion
continually sounded forth the animating points of war, encouraging the
men to fight gallantly against their enemies; while in the Spanish
gallies there was no warlike music, save the silver whistles, which were
blown ever and anon. In this sore fight, many a Spaniard was thrown into
the sea, while multitudes of them came crawling up the ships sides,
hanging by every rope, and endeavouring to enter in: Yet as fast as they
came to enter, so courageously were they received by the English, that
many of them were fain to tumble alive into the sea, remediless of ever
getting out alive. There were in the Centurion 48 men and boys in all,
who bestirred themselves so valiantly and so galled the enemy, that many
a brave and lusty Spaniard lost his life. The Centurion was set on fire
five several times, with wild-fire and other combustibles thrown in for
that purpose by the Spaniards; yet by the blessing of God, and the great
and diligent foresight of the master, the fire was always extinguished
without doing any harm.

In every one of these five gallies there were about 200 soldiers; who,
together with the great guns, spoiled, rent, and battered the Centurion
very sorely; shot her mainmast through, and slew four of her men, one of
whom was the masters mate. Ten other persons were hurt by splinters. But
in the end, the Spaniards had almost spent their shot, so that they were
obliged to load with hammers and the chains of their galley-slaves, yet,
God be praised, the English received no more harm. At length, sore
galled and worn out, the Spaniards were constrained to unfasten their
grapplings and sheer off; at which time, if there had been any fresh
ship to aid and succour the Centurion, they had certainly sunk or taken
all those gallies. The Dolphin lay aloof and durst not come near, while
the other two small ships fled away. One of the gallies from the
Centurion set upon the Dolphin; which ship went immediately on fire,
occasioned by her own powder, so that the ship perished with all her
men: But whether this was done intentionally or not, was never known.
Surely, if she had come bravely forward in aid of the Centurion, she had
not perished.

This fight continued five hours and a half, at the end of which time
both parties were glad to draw off and breathe themselves; but the
Spaniards, once gone, durst not renew the fight. Next day, indeed, six
other gallies came out and looked at the Centurion, but durst on no
account meddle with her. Thus delivered by the Almighty from the hands
of their enemies, they gave God thanks for the victory, and arrived not
long after safe at London. Mr John Hawes merchant, and sundry others of
good note were present in this fight.


_Sea-fight near the Azores, between the Revenge man of war, commanded by
Sir Richard Granville, and fifteen Spanish men of war_, 31_st August_
1591. _Written by Sir Walter Raleigh_[371].


Because the rumours are diversely spread, as well in England as in the
Low Countries and elsewhere, of this late encounter between her majestys
ships and the armada of Spain; and that the Spaniards, according to
their usual manner, fill the world with their vain-glorious vaunts,
making great shew of victories, when on the contrary themselves are most
commonly and shamefully beaten and dishonoured, thereby hoping to
possess the ignorant multitude by anticipating and forerunning false
reports: It is agreeable with all good reason, for manifestation of the
truth, to overcome falsehood and untruth, that the beginning,
continuance, and success of this late honourable encounter by Sir
Richard Grenville, and others her majestys captains, with the
armada[373] of Spain, should be truly set down and published, without
partiality or false imaginations. And it is no marvel that the Spaniards
should seek, by false and slanderous pamphlets, _advisos_, and letters,
to cover their own loss, and to derogate from others their due honours,
especially in this fight being far off; seeing they were not ashamed, in
the year 1588, when they purposed the invasion of this land, to publish
in sundry languages in print, great victories in words, which they
pretended to have obtained against this realm, and spread the same in a
most false sort over all parts of France, Italy, and other countries.
When, shortly after it was happily manifested in very deed to all
nations, how their navy, which they termed _invincible_, consisting of
140 sail of ships, not only of their own kingdom, but strengthened with
the greatest argosies, Portugal caraks, Florentines, and huge hulks of
other countries, were by 80 of her majestys own ships of war, and a few
belonging to our own merchants, by the wise, valiant, and advantageous
conduct of the lord Charles Howard, high admiral of England, beaten and
shuffled together, even from the Lizard in Cornwall, first to Portland
where they shamefully left Don Pedro de Valdes with his mighty ship:
from Portland to Calais, where they lost Hugo de Moncado with the
gallies of which he was captain: and from Calais driven by squibs from
their anchors, were chased out of sight of England, round about Scotland
and Ireland. Where for the sympathy of their barbarous religion, hoping
to find succour and assistance, a great part of them were crushed
against the rocks, and those others that landed, being very many in
number, were notwithstanding broken, slain, and taken, and so sent from
village to village, coupled in halters, to be shipped for England. Where
her majesty, of her princely and invincible disposition, disdaining to
put them to death, and scorning either to retain or entertain them, they
were all sent back again into their countries, to witness and recount
the worthy achievements of their invincible and dreadful navy: of which,
the number of soldiers, the fearful burden of their ships, the
commanders names of every squadron, with all their magazines of
provisions were put in print, as an army and navy irresistible and
disdaining prevention. With all which so great and terrible ostentation,
they did not, in all their sailing about England, so much as sink or
take one ship, bark, pinnace, or cock-boat of ours, or ever burnt so
much as one sheep-cot of this land. When, as on the contrary, Sir
Francis Drake, with only 800 soldiers, not long before landed in their
Indies, and forced San Jago, Santo Domingo, Carthagena, and the forts of

[Footnote 371: Hakluyt, II. 668. Astley, I. 216.]

[Footnote 372: This preliminary discourse, by the famous Sir Walter
Raleigh, is given from Hakluyt without alteration, except in

[Footnote 373: Armada is a general word, signifying in Spanish a ship of
war or a fleet or squadron. Generally in English it has been limited to
the invincible armada, or powerful fleet fitted out by Philip II. in the
vain hope of conquering England.--E.]

And after that, Sir John Norris marched from Peniche in Portugal with a
handful of soldiers to the gates of Lisbon, being above 40 English
miles: Where the earl of Essex himself, and other valiant gentlemen,
braved the city of Lisbon, encamping at the very gates: from whence,
after many days abode, finding neither promised parley nor provision
wherewith to batter, they made their retreat by land, in spite of all
their garrisons both of horse and foot. In this sort I have a little
digressed from my first purpose, only by the necessary comparison of
their and our actions: the one covetous of honour, without vaunt or
ostentation; the other so greedy to purchase the opinion of their own
affairs, and by false rumours to resist the blasts of their own
dishonours, as they will not only not blush to spread all manner of
untruths, but even for the least advantage, be it but for the taking of
one poor adventurer of the English, will celebrate the victory with
bonefires in every town, always spending more in faggots than the
purchase they obtained was worth. Whereas, we never thought it worth the
consumption of two billets, when we have taken eight or ten of their
Indian ships at one time, and twenty of their Brazil fleet. Such is the
difference between true valour and vain ostentation, and between
honourable actions and frivolous vain-glorious boasting. But to return
to my purpose:


The Lord Thomas Howard, with six of her majestys ships, six victuallers
of London, the bark Raleigh, and two or three pinnaces, riding at anchor
near Flores, one of the western islands called the Azores, on the last
of August 1591, in the afternoon, had intelligence by one captain
Middleton, of the approach of the Spanish armada. This Middleton, being
in a very good sailing ship, had kept them company for three days
before, of good purpose, both to discover their force, and to give the
lord admiral advice of their approach. He had no sooner communicated the
news, when the Spanish fleet hove in sight; at which time, many
belonging to our ships companies were on shore in the island of Flores,
some providing ballast for the ships, others filling water, and others
refreshing themselves from the land with such things as they could
procure either for money or by force. Owing to this, our ships were all
in confusion, pestered, rummaging, and every thing out of order, very
light for want of ballast; and what was most of all to their
disadvantage, the half of the men in every ship was sick and
unserviceable. For in the Revenge, there were ninety sick; in the
Bonaventure, not so many in health as could hand her mainsail, insomuch,
that unless twenty men had been taken from a bark of Sir George Careys
which was sunk, and appointed into her, she had hardly been able to get
back to England. The rest of the ships for the most part were in little
better state.

The names of her majestys ships were as follows: The Defiance, admiral,
the Revenge, vice-admiral, the Bonaventure commanded by captain Crosse,
the Lion by George Fenner, the Foresight by Thomas Vavasour, and the
Crane by Duffild. The Foresight and Crane were small ships, the other
four were of the middle size. All the others, except the bark Raleigh,
commanded by captain Thin, were victuallers, and of small or no force.
The approach of the Spanish fleet being concealed by means of the
island, they were soon at hand, so that our ships had scarce time to
weigh their anchors, and some even were obliged to slip their cables and
set sail. Sir Richard Grenville was the last to weigh, that he might
recover the men who were a land on the island, who had otherwise been
lost. The lord Thomas Howard, with the rest of the fleet, very hardly
recovered the wind, which Sir Richard was unable to do; on which his
master and others endeavoured to persuade him to cut his main sail and
cast about, trusting to the swift sailing of his ship, as the squadron
of Seville was on his weather bow. But Sir Richard absolutely refused to
turn from the enemy, declaring he would rather die than dishonour
himself, his country, and her majestys ship, and persuaded his company
that he would be able to pass through the two squadrons in spite of
them, and force those of Seville to give him way. This he certainly
performed upon divers of the foremost, who, as the sailors term it,
sprang their luff, and fell under the lee of the Revenge. The other
course had certainly been the better, and might very properly have been
adopted under so great impossibility of prevailing over such heavy odds;
but, out of the greatness of his mind, he could not be prevailed on to
have the semblance of fleeing.

In the meantime, while Sir Richard attended to those ships of the enemy
that were nearest him and in his way, the great San Philip being to
windward of him, and coming down towards him, becalmed his sails in such
sort that his ship could neither make way nor feel the helm, so huge and
high was the Spanish ship, being of fifteen hundred tons, and which
presently laid the Revenge on board. At this time, bereft of his sails,
the ships that had fallen under his lee, luffed up and laid him on board
also, the first of these that now came up being the vice-admiral of the
Biscay squadron, a very mighty and puissant ship, commanded by
Brittandona. The San Philip carried three tier of ordnance on a side,
and eleven pieces in each tier, besides eight pieces in her forecastle
chase, and others from her stern-ports. After the Revenge was thus
entangled by the huge San Philip, four others laid her on board, two to
larboard and two to starboard. The fight thus began at three in the
afternoon, and continued very terribly the whole of that evening. But
the great San Philip, having received a discharge from the lower tier
of the Revenge, loaded with cross-bar shot, shifted herself with all
diligence from her side, utterly disliking this her first entertainment.
Some say the San Philip foundered, but we cannot report this for a
truth, not having sufficient assurance. Besides the mariners, the
Spanish ships were filled with companies of soldiers, some having to the
number of two hundred, some five hundred, and others as far even as
eight hundred. In ours, there were none besides the mariners, except the
servants of the commanders, and some few gentlemen volunteers.

After interchanging many vollies of great ordnance and small shot, the
Spaniards deliberated to enter the Revenge by boarding, and made several
attempts, hoping to carry her by the multitudes of their armed soldiers
and musketeers, but were still repulsed again and again, being on every
attempt beaten back into their own ships or into the sea. In the
beginning of the fight, the George Noble of London being only one of the
victuallers, and of small force, having received some shot through her
from the Spanish _armadas_, fell under the lee of the Revenge, and the
master of her asked Sir Richard what he was pleased to command him; on
which Sir Richard bad him save himself as he best might, leaving him to
his fortune. After the fight had thus continued without intermission,
while the day lasted, and some hours of the night, many of our men were
slain and hurt; one of the great galeons of the armada and the admiral
of the hulks both sunk, and a great slaughter had taken place in many of
the other great Spanish ships. Some allege that Sir Richard was very
dangerously hurt almost in the beginning of the fight, and lay
speechless for a time ere he recovered: But two men belonging to the
Revenge, who came home in a ship of Lyme from the islands, and were
examined by some of the lords and others, affirmed, that he was never so
much wounded as to forsake the upper deck till an hour before midnight,
and being then shot in the body by a musket ball, was shot again in the
head as the surgeon was dressing him, the surgeon himself being at the
same time wounded to death. This also agrees with an examination of four
other returned mariners of the same ship, taken before Sir Francis
Godolphin, and sent by him to master William Killegrue of her majestys
privy chamber.

To return to the fight: As the Spanish ships which attempted to board
the Revenge were wounded and beaten off, so always others came up in
their places, she never having less than two mighty galeons by her sides
and close on board her; so that ere morning, from three o'clock of the
day before, she had been successively assailed by no less than fifteen
several armadas or great ships of war; and all of them had so ill
approved their entertainment, that, by break of day, they were far more
willing to hearken to a composition, than hastily to make any more
assaults or entries for boarding. But as the day advanced, so our men
decreased in number, and as the light grew more and more, by so much
more increased the discomforts of our men. For now nothing appeared in
sight but enemies, save one small ship called the Pilgrim, commanded by
Jacob Whiddon, who hovered all night to see what might be the event;
but, bearing up towards the Revenge in the morning, was hunted like a
hare among so many ravenous hounds, yet escaped.

All the powder of the Revenge was now spent to the very last barrel, all
her pikes broken, forty of her best men slain, and most part of the rest
wounded. In the beginning of the fight, she had 90 of her men lying sick
on the ballast in the hold, and only 100 capable of duty, a small crew
for such a ship, and a weak garrison to resist so mighty an army. By
this brave hundred was the whole of this hot fight sustained, the
volleys, boardings, assaults, and entries, from fifteen great ships of
war all full of men, besides those which had cannonaded her from a
distance. On the contrary, the Spanish ships were always supplied with
fresh soldiers from the several squadrons of this vast fleet, and had
all manner of arms and powder at will; while to our men there remained
no hope or comfort, no supply either of ships, men, weapons, or powder.
The masts were all beaten overboard; all her tackle was cut asunder; her
upper works all battered to pieces, and in effect evened with the water,
nothing but the hull or bottom of the ship remaining, nothing being left
over-head for flight or for defence.

Finding his ship in this distress, and altogether unable for any longer
resistance, after fifteen hours constant fighting against fifteen great
ships of war which assailed him in turns, having received by estimation
800 shot of great ordnance, besides many assaults and entries; and
considering that he and his ship must now soon be in possession of the
enemy, who had arranged their ships in a ring round about the Revenge,
which was now unable to move any way, except as acted on by the waves;
Sir Richard called for his master gunner, whom he knew to be a most
resolute man, and commanded him to split and sink the ship, that nothing
of glory or victory might remain to the enemy, who with so great a navy,
and in so long a time, were unable to take her. They had fifty-three
ships of war, and above 10,000 men, and had been engaged against this
single ship for fifteen hours. At the same time, Sir Richard endeavoured
to prevail upon as many of the company as he could influence, to commit
themselves to the mercy of God, and not of their enemies, since they had
like valiant men repulsed so many enemies, urging them not now to
obscure their honour and that of their nation, for the sake of
prolonging their lives a few days. The master gunner and various others
of the crew readily assented to this desperate resolution; but the
captain and master were quite of an opposite opinion, and conjured Sir
Richard to desist from his desperate proposal; alleging that the
Spaniards would be as ready to agree to a capitulation as they to offer
it; and begged him to consider, that there still were many valiant men
still living in the ship, and others whose wounds might not be mortal,
who might be able to do acceptable service to their queen and country
hereafter. And, although Sir Richard had alleged that the Spaniards
should never have the glory of taking one ship of her majesty, which had
been so long and valiantly defended; they answered, that the ship had
six feet water in her hold, and three shot holes under water, which were
so weakly stopped, that she must needs sink with the first labouring of
the sea, and was besides so battered and bruised, that she could never
be removed from the place.

While the matter was thus in dispute, Sir Richard refusing to listen to
any reasons, the captain won over the most part to his opinion, and the
master was conveyed on board the Spanish general, Don Alfonso Bacan.
Finding none of his people very ready to attempt boarding the Revenge
again, and fearing lest Sir Richard might blow up both them and himself,
as he learned from the master his dangerous disposition; Don Alfonso
agreed that all their lives should be saved, the ships company sent to
England, and the better sort to pay such reasonable ransom as their
estate could bear, all in the meantime to be free from prison or the
gallies. He so much the rather consented to these terms, lest any
farther loss or mischief might accrue to themselves, and for the
preservation of Sir Richard, whose notable valour he greatly honoured
and admired. On receiving this answer, in which the safety of life was
promised; the common sort, now at the end of their peril, mostly drew
back from the proposal of Sir Richard and the master gunner, it being no
hard matter to dissuade men from death to life. Finding himself and Sir
Richard thus prevented and mastered by the majority, the master gunner
would have slain himself with his sword, but was prevented by main
force, and locked up in his cabin.

Then the Spanish general sent many boats on board the Revenge, and
several of her men, fearing Sir Richards disposition, stole away on
board the general and other ships. Thus constrained to submit, Sir
Richard was desired by a message from Alfonso Bacan to remove from the
Revenge, as it was filled with blood and the bodies of the slain, and
with wounded men, like a slaughter-house. Sir Richard gave for answer,
that he might do now with his body what he pleased; and while removing
from the ship, he fainted away, and on recovering he requested the
company to pray for him. The Spanish general used Sir Richard with all
humanity, leaving no means untried that tended towards his recovery,
highly commending his valour and worthiness, and greatly bewailing his
dangerous condition; seeing that it was a rare spectacle, and an
instance of resolution seldom met with, for one ship to withstand so
many enemies, to endure the batteries and boardings of so many huge
ships of war, and to resist and repel the assaults and entries of such
numbers of soldiers. All this and more is confirmed, by the recital of a
Spanish captain in that same fleet, who was himself engaged in this
action, and, being severed from the rest in a storm, was taken by the
Lion, a small ship belonging to London, and is now prisoner in London.

The general commanding this great armada, was Don Alphonso Bacan,
brother to the Marquis of Santa Cruz. Britandona was admiral of the
squadron of Biscay. The Marquis of Arumburch [Aremberg] commanded the
squadron of Seville. Luis Coutinho commanded the hulks and flyboats.
There were slain and drowned in this fight, as the before-mentioned
Spanish captain confessed, near a thousand of the enemy, with two
special commanders, Don Luis de San Juan, and Don George de Prunaria de
Mallaga, besides others of special account whose names have not yet
been reported. The admiral of the hulks and the Ascension of Seville
were both sunk at the side of the Revenge. One other ship, which got
into the road of San Miguel, sank there also; and a fourth ship had to
run on shore to save her men. Sir Richard, as it is said, died the
second or third day on board the general, much bewailed by his enemies;
but we have not heard what became of his body, whether it were committed
to the sea or buried on land. The comfort remaining to his friends is,
that he ended his life honourably, having won great reputation for his
nation and his posterity, and hath not outlived his honour.

For the rest of her majestys ships, that entered not into the fight like
the Revenge, the reasons and causes were these: There were of them only
six in all, two whereof were only small ships; and they could be of no
service, as the Revenge was engaged past recovery. The island of Flores
was on one side; 53 sail of Spanish ships were on the other, divided
into several squadrons, all as full of soldiers as they could contain.
Almost one half of our men were sick and unable to serve; the ships were
grown foul, _unroomaged_[374], and hardly able to bear any sail for want
of ballast, having been six months at sea. If all the rest of the ships
had entered into the action, they had been all lost; for the very
hugeness of the Spanish ships, even if no other violence had been
offered, might have crushed them all into shivers between them; by which
the loss and dishonour to the queen had been far greater, than any
injury the enemy could have sustained. It is nevertheless true, that the
Lord Thomas Howard would have entered between the squadrons of the
enemy, but the others would on no account consent; and even the master
of his own ship threatened to leap into the sea, rather than conduct the
admirals ship and the rest to be a certain prey to the enemy, where
there was no hope or possibility of victory or even of defence. In my
opinion, such rashness would have ill assorted with the discretion and
trust of a general, to have committed himself and his charge to
assured destruction, without any hope or likelihood of prevailing,
thereby to have diminished the strength of her majestys navy, and to
have increased the pride and glory of the enemy.

[Footnote 374: This singular antiquated sea term may signify, not in
sailing _trim_.--E.]

The Foresight, one of her majestys vessels, commanded by Thomas
Vavasour, performed a very great service, and staid two hours as near
the Revenge as the weather would permit, not forsaking the fight till
well nigh encompassed by the squadrons of the enemy, and then cleared
himself with great difficulty. The rest gave diverse vollies of shot,
and engaged as far as the place and their own necessities permitted, so
as to keep the weather-gage of the enemy, till night parted them.

A few days after this fight, the prisoners being dispersed among the
Spanish ships of war and ships from the Indies, there arose so great a
storm from the W. and N.W. that all the fleet was dispersed, as well the
fleet of the Indies then come to them as the rest of the armada that had
attended their arrival, of which 14 sail, together with the Revenge
having 200 Spaniards on board of her, were cast away upon the island of
St Michael. Thus they honoured the obsequies of the renowned Revenge,
for the great glory she had achieved, not permitting her to perish
alone. Besides these, other 15 or 16 of the Spanish ships of war were
cast away in this storm upon the other islands of the Azores: And, of an
100 sail and more of the fleet of the Indies, which were expected this
year in Spain, what with the loss sustained in this tempest, and what
before in the bay of Mexico and about the Bermuda islands, above 70 were
lost, including those taken by our London ships; besides one very rich
ship of the Indies, which set herself on fire being boarded by the
Pilgrim, and five others taken by the ship belonging to Mr Wats of
London between the Havannah and Cape St Antonio. On the 4th of November
this year, we had letters from Tercera, affirming that 3000 dead bodies
had been thrown upon that island from the perished ships, and that the
Spaniards confessed to have lost 10,000 men in this storm, besides those
who perished between the main and the islands. Thus it hath pleased God
to fight for us, and to defend the justice of our cause, against the
ambitious and bloody pretences of the Spaniards, who seeking to devour
all nations are themselves devoured: A manifest testimony how unjust and
displeasing are their attempts in the sight of God, who hath been
pleased to witness, by the evil success of their affairs, his mislike of
their bloody and injurious designs, purposed and practised against all
Christian princes, over whom they seek unlawful and ungodly rule and
supreme command.

A day or two before this terrible catastrophe, when some of our
prisoners desired to be set on shore on the Azores islands, hoping to be
thence transported into England, and which liberty had been formerly
promised by the Spanish general; one Morice Fitz John, (son of old John
of Desmond, a notable traitor, who was cousin-german to the late earl of
Desmond,) was sent from ship to ship to endeavour to persuade the
English prisoners to serve the king of Spain. The arguments he used to
induce them were these. Increase of pay to treble their present
allowance; advancement to the better sort; and the free exercise of the
true catholic religion, ensuring the safety of all their souls. For the
first of these, the beggarly and unnatural behaviour of those English
and Irish rebels that served the king of Spain in that action was a
sufficient answer; for so poor and ragged were they, that, for want of
apparel, they stripped the poor prisoners their countrymen of their
ragged garments, worn out by six months service, not even sparing to
despoil them of their bloody shirts from their wounded bodies, and the
very shoes from their feet; a noble testimony of their rich
entertainment and high pay. As to the second argument, of hope of
advancement if they served well and continued faithful to the king of
Spain; what man could be so blockishly ignorant ever to expect promotion
and honour from a foreign king, having no other merit or pretension than
his own disloyalty, his unnatural desertion of his country and parents,
and rebellion against his true prince, to whose obedience he is bound by
oath, by nature, and by religion? No! such men are only assured to be
employed on all desperate enterprizes, and to be held in scorn and
disdain even among those they serve. That ever a traitor was either
trusted or advanced I have never learnt, neither can I remember a single
example. No man could have less becomed the office of orator for such a
purpose, than this Morice of Desmond: For, the earl his cousin, being
one of the greatest subjects in the kingdom of Ireland, possessing
almost whole counties in his large property, many goodly manors,
castles, and lordships, the county palatine of Kerry, 500 gentlemen of
his own family and name ready to follow him, all which he and his
ancestors had enjoyed in peace for three or four hundred years: Yet this
man, in less than three years after his rebellion and adherence to the
Spaniards, was beaten from all his holds, not so many as ten gentlemen
of his name left living, himself taken and beheaded by a gentleman of
his own nation, and his lands given by parliament to her majesty and
possessed by the English. His other cousin, Sir John Desmond, taken by
Mr John Zouch; and his body hung up over the gates of his native city to
be devoured by ravens. The third brother, Sir James, hanged, drawn, and
quartered in the same place. Had he been able to vaunt of the success of
his own house, in thus serving the king of Spain, the argument might
doubtless have moved much and wrought great effect: the which, because
he happened to forget, I have thought good to remember in his behalf.

As for the matter of religion, to which he adverted, it would require a
separate volume, were I to set down how irreligiously they cover their
greedy and ambitious pretences with that veil of pretended piety. But
sure I am, there is no kingdom or commonwealth in all Europe that they
do not invade, under pretence of religion, if it be reformed. Nay if it
even be what they term catholic, they pretend a title, as if the kings
of Castile were the natural heirs of all the world. Thus between both,
no kingdom is exempted from their ambition. Where they dare not invade
with their own forces, they basely entertain the traitors and vagabonds
of all nations; seeking by their means, and by their runagate Jesuits,
to win other parts to their dominion, by which they have ruined many
noble houses and others in this land, extinguishing their lives and
families. What good, honour, or fortune, any one hath ever yet achieved
through them, is yet unheard of. If our English papists will only look
to Portugal, against which they have no pretence of religion; how their
nobility are imprisoned and put to death, their rich men made a prey,
and all sorts of people reduced to servitude; they shall find that the
obedience even of the Turk is ease and liberty, compared to the tyranny
of Spain. What have they done in Sicily, in Naples, in Milan, in the low
countries? Who hath there been spared even for religion? It cometh to my
remembrance of a certain burgher at Antwerp, whose house was entered by
a company of Spanish soldiers when they sacked that city. He besought
them to spare him and his goods, being a good catholic, and therefore
one of their own party and faction. The Spaniards answered, they knew
him to be of a good conscience in himself; but his money, plate, jewels,
and goods, were all heretical, and therefore good prize. So they abused
and tormented the foolish Fleming, who thought that an _Agnus Dei_ had
been a sufficient safeguard against all the force of that holy and
charitable nation.

Neither have they at any time, as they protest, invaded the kingdoms of
Mexico and Peru and elsewhere, being only led thereto to reduce the
people to Christianity, not for gold or empire: Whereas, in the single
island of Hispaniola, they have wasted and destroyed thirty hundred
thousand of the natives, besides many millions else in other places of
the Indies: a poor and harmless people, created of God, and might have
been won to his service, as many of them were, even almost all whom they
endeavoured to persuade thereto. The story of these their enormities,
has been written at large by Bartholomew de las Casas[375], a bishop of
their own nation, and has been translated into English and many other
languages, under the title of _The Spanish Cruelties_. Who therefore
would repose trust in such a nation of ravenous strangers, and more
especially in those Spaniards, who more greedily thirst after the blood
of the English, for the many overthrows and dishonours they have
received at our hands; whose weakness we have discovered to the world,
and whose forces, at home, abroad, in Europe, in the Indies, by sea and
by land, even with mere handfuls of men and ships on our sides, we have
overthrown and dishonoured? Let not therefore any Englishman, of what
religion soever, have other opinion of these Spaniards or their
abettors, but that those whom they seek to win of our nation, they
esteem base and traiterous, unworthy persons, and inconstant fools; and
that they use this pretence of religion, for no other purpose but to
bewitch us from the obedience due to our natural prince, hoping thereby
to bring us in time under slavery and subjection, when none shall be
there so odious and despised, as those very traitors who have sold their
country to strangers, forsaking their faith and obedience, contrary to
the laws of nature and religion, and contrary to that humane and
universal honour, not only of Christians but of heathen and unbelieving
nations, who have always sustained every degree of labour, embracing
even death itself, in defence of their country, their prince, and their

[Footnote 375: He was bishop of Chiapa in New Spain, and computes the
Indians destroyed by the Spaniards in about fifty years, at no fewer
than twenty millions.--Astley, I. 221. a.]

To conclude, it hath ever to this day pleased God to prosper and defend
her majesty, to break the purposes of her malicious enemies, to confound
the devices of forsworn traitors, and to overthrow all unjust practices
and invasions. She hath ever been held in honour by the worthiest kings,
served by faithful subjects, and shall ever, by the favour of God,
resist, repell, and confound all attempts against her person and
kingdom. In the mean time, let the Spaniards and traitors vaunt of their
success; while we, her true and obedient subjects, guided by the shining
light of her virtues, shall always love, serve, and obey her, to the end
of our lives.


_Note of the Fleet of the Indies, expected in Spain this year 1591; with
the number that perished, according to the examination of certain
Spaniards, lately taken and brought to England[376]._

The fleet of New Spain, at their first gathering together, consisted of
52 sail. The admiral and vice-admiral ships were each of 600 tons
burden. Four or five of the ships were of 900 and 1000 tons each; some
were of 400 tons, and the smallest of 200. Of this fleet 19 were cast
away, containing by estimation 2600 men, which happened along the coast
of New Spain, so that only 33 sail came to the Havannah.

[Footnote 376: Hakluyt, II. 670.]

The fleet of Terra Firma, at its first departure from Spain, consisted
of 50 sail, bound for Nombre de Dios, where they discharged their
loading, and returned thence for their health sake to Carthagena, till
such time as the treasure they were to take in at Nombre de Dios were
ready. But before this fleet departed, some were gone by one or two at a
time, so that only 23 sail of this fleet arrived at the Havannah.

There met at the Havannah,

33 sail from New Spain,
23 from the Terra Firma,
12 belonging to San Domingo,
9 from Honduras.

Thus 77 ships joined and set sail from the Havannah, on the 17th of July
1591, according to our account, and kept together till they arrived in
the lat. of 35 deg. N. which was about the 10th of August. There the wind,
which had been at S.W. changed suddenly to N. so that the sea coming
from the S.W. and the wind violent from the N. they were put in great
extremity, and then first lost the admiral of their fleet, in which were
500 men; and within three or four days after, another storm rising, five
or six others of their largest ships were cast away with all their men,
together with their vice-admiral.

In lat. 38 deg. N. and about the end of August, another great storm arose,
in which all their remaining ships, except 48, were lost. These 48 ships
kept together till they came in sight of the islands of Corvo and
Flores, about the 5th or 6th of September, at which time they were
separated by a great storm; and of that number, 15 or 16 sail were
afterwards seen by three Spanish prisoners, riding at anchor under
Tercera, while 12 or 14 more were observed to bear away for San Miguel.
What became of them after these Spaniards were taken, cannot yet be
certified; but their opinion is, that very few of this fleet escaped
being either taken or cast away. It has been ascertained of late by
other means of intelligence, that of this whole fleet of 123 sail, which
should have come to Spain this year, there have only 25 yet arrived.
This note was extracted from the examinations of certain Spanish
prisoners, brought to England by six of the London ships, which took
seven of these men from the before-mentioned fleet of the Indies near
the islands of the Acores.


_Report of a Cruizing Voyage to the Azores in 1591, by a feet of London
ships sent with supplies to the Lord Thomas Howard. Written by Captain
Robert Flicke_[377].


The following voyage is extracted from a letter, dated at Plymouth the
24th of October 1591, and sent thence by Captain Flicke to Messrs Thomas
Bromley, Richard Staper, and ---- Cordall, three of the contractors, as
we apprehend, for the ships, and is titled, "Concerning the success of a
part of the London supplies sent to the isles of the Azores to my Lord
Thomas Howard." In this letter no mention is made of the number of ships
employed, nor of the names of more than two captains besides Flicke,
namely, _Brothus_ and _Furtho_, the latter of whom was bearer of the
letter. We also find the name of four of the ships; the Costly,
Centurion, Cherubim, and the Margaret and John, but not the names of
their commanders, neither the name of the ship in which Flicke sailed,
and which, for distinctions sake, we call the admiral. These omissions
may be excuseable in a private letter, written only to acquaint the
merchants of particulars they had not before learnt, and not designed as
a formal narrative of the voyage to be laid before the public. As these,
however, are essential to narratives of this kind, it might have been
expected of Mr Hakluyt to have supplied such defects. We may judge,
however, that the number of ships was seven, as in the preceding account
of the fleet of the Indies, six London ships are mentioned as having
fallen in with it, which were probably those separated from the admiral
or commodore, which ship will make the seventh.--_Astley._

[Footnote 377: Hakluyt, II. 671. Astley, I. 221.]

[Footnote 378: Astley, I. 221.]


Worshipful, my hearty commendations to you premised.--By my last letter,
dated 12th August from this place, I advertised you particularly of the
accidents which had befallen our fleet till then. It now remains to
relate our exertions for accomplishing our orders for endeavouring to
join my Lord Thomas Howard, and the success we have had. We departed
from hence on the 17th August, the wind not serving before. Next day I
summoned a council by signal, on which the captains and masters of all
the ships came on board, when I acquainted them with my commission,
confirmed by the lords of her majestys council, and with the
advertisement of Sir Edward Denny, that my lord had determined to remain
60 leagues west of Fayal, spreading his squadron north and south between
37 deg. 30' and 38 deg. 30' north. But, if we did not there find him, we were to
repair to the islands of Flores and Corvo, where a pinnace would
purposely wait our coming till the last day of August; with the intent,
after that day, to repair to the coast of Spain, about the heighth of
the rock [_of Lisbon?_], some twenty or thirty leagues off shore. This
being advisedly considered, and having regard to the shortness of time
occasioned by our long delay at this place, and the uncertainty of
favourable weather for us, it was generally concluded, as the best and
surest way to meet my lord, to bear up for the heighth of _the rock_,
without making any stay upon the coast, and thence to make directly for
the foresaid islands, which was accordingly fully agreed to and

[Footnote 379: In pursuance of our uniform plan, of drawing from the
original sources, this article is an exact transcript from Hakluyt, only
modernizing his antiquated language and orthography, and not copied from
the abridgement of Astley.--.E]

The 28th of August we had sight of the Burlings, and being on the 29th
athwart of Peniche, and having a favourable wind, we directed our course
west for the Azores, without making any stay off the coast of Portugal.
The 30th we met the Red Rose, Captain Royden, formerly called the Golden
Dragon, which had separated from my lord in a storm. He informed us of
50 sail of the king of Spains armada having sailed for the islands, but
could not give us any intelligence of my lord, otherwise than supposing
him to remain about the islands, wherefore we continued our course, the
wind remaining favourable. The 4th of September we had sight of Tercera,
and ranged along all the islands, both on their south, and north sides,
for the space of four days, during which time we met with no ships
whatever, so that we could learn no intelligence, either of my lord or
of the fleet of the Indies; wherefore we directed our course to the west
of Fayal, according to the instructions of Sir Edward Denny. When plying
to the westwards on the 11th, we descried a sail from our main-top, and
by two or three in the afternoon raised her hull, but the weather fell
so calm that we could not fetch her. I therefore sent off my skiff well
manned, and furnished with shot and swords, the Cherubim and the
Margaret and John doing the like. Upon this the sail stood off again,
and on the approach of night our boats lost sight of her and so
returned. During this pursuit the Centurion was left astern, so that we
missed her next morning, and spent all that day plying up and down in
search of her: And, as all our ships were directed, in case of
separation by stress of weather or other mischance, to meet and join at
Flores, we, according to the instructions of Sir Edward Denny, proceeded
for the purpose of finding my Lord Thomas Howard, and being in the
heighth appointed, and not able to remain there in consequence of
extreme tempests, which forced us to the isles of Flores and Corvo,
which we made on the 14th in the morning, and there rejoined the
Centurion. She informed us, that on the 12th day, being the same on
which she lost us, she had met 45 sail of the fleet of the Indies.

The same night, in consequence of this intelligence, we came to anchor
between Flores and Corvo, and next morning at day-break, I convened a
council of all the captains and masters on board my ship, by a signal
flag. For satisfying our desire to learn some intelligence of my lord,
as also for the purpose of procuring a supply of water, it was thought
good to send our boats on shore armed, under the command of Captain
Brothus; besides which, it was agreed, after our departure thence, to
range along the south sides of the islands, that we might either procure
some intelligence of my lord, or fall in with the fleet of the Indies;
and, in case of missing both objects, to direct our course for Cape St
Vincent. The boats being sent on shore, according to this determination,
it chanced that the Costely, which rode outermost at our anchoring
ground, having weighed to bring herself nearer among us to assist in
protecting our boats, discovered two sail in opening the land, which we
in the road-stead could not perceive. Upon this she fired a shot of
warning, which caused us to _wave_ all our boats back; and before they
could recover their ships, the two ships seen by the Costely appeared to
us, on which we made all sail towards them, and in a happy hour as it
pleased God. We had no sooner cleared the land and spoken one of them,
which was a bark belonging to Bristol, also seeking my lord
ineffectually at the place appointed, when so violent a storm arose that
we had been in great danger of perishing if we had continued in the
road. This storm continued in its utmost violence for sixty hours,
during which I was separated from all our fleet except the Cherubim, and
Costely, which continued in company. After it subsided, sailing in
among the islands, I viewed the road of Fayal, and finding no roaders
there, I went thence for the isle of Tercera.

On the 19th day of September in the morning, coming to Tercera, and
intending to edge into the road, a tempest arose and so scanted the wind
that we could not get in. Being accordingly driven to leeward, we fell
in among some of the fleet of the Indies, which had been dispersed by
the storm, and driven from the road. Upon this our ship and the two
others then with me gave several chases, by which we parted company.
Following up my chase, we made her strike and yield about noon, when she
turned out to be a Portuguese, laden with hides, sarsa-parilla, and
_anile_ [Indigo.] At this instant we espied another, and taking our
prize with us, followed and captured her before night. She was called
the Conception, commanded by Francisco Spinola, and was laden with
cochineal, raw hides, and certain raw silk: And as the sea was so
tempestuous that we could in no way board her, neither by boats nor from
the ship, so we kept her under our lee till a fit opportunity. That same
night, a little before day, another ship joined company with us,
supposing us and our two prizes to belong to their fleet, which we
dissembled till morning.

In the morning of the 20th, this new sail being somewhat shot a-head of
us, and being anxious for the safe keeping of the two former, we
purposed to cause our two prizes put out more sail, so as to keep near
us while chasing the third, as our master insisted that they would
follow us; owing to which, by the time we had caused this new one to
yield, and had sent men on board to take possession, the Conception
being far astern, and having got the wind of us, stood off with all her
sails, so that we were forced to make a new chase after her, and had not
the wind enlarged upon us we had lost her. The whole of this day was
spent in this new pursuit, before we recovered her, and brought
ourselves again in company with our other prizes; by which we lost the
opportunity of that day, during which the weather served for boarding
the Portuguese prize, which was in great distress, making request of us
to take them on board, as they were ready to sink, as we could well
perceive by their pumping incessantly, and in our judgment she went down
that night.

On the 21st the Conception sprung a leak also, which gained upon her
notwithstanding every effort at the pumps, so that she could not be kept
long above water. So I took out of her 42 chests of cochineal and silk,
leaving her to the sea with 11 feet water in her hold, and 4700 hides.
The other prize, which we have brought into harbour, is the Nuestra
Sennora de los Remedios, Francisco Alvares captain, laden with 16 chests
of cochineal, certain fardels [or bales] of raw silk, and about 4000
hides. Upon the discharge of the goods, your honours shall be
particularly advertised of the same. In boarding our prizes, such was
the disorder of our men, that, besides rifling the persons of the
Spaniards, they broke open the chests and purloined what money was in
them; although I had given notice of my intention of going on board in
person, to have taken a just account thereof in presence of three or
four witnesses, putting the whole in safe custody, pursuant to the
articles made in this behalf. And whereas certain sums of money taken
from our men, which they had thus purloined and embezzled, together with
other parcels brought on board my ship, amounting to 2129 pesos and a
half, all of which the company demanded to have shared among them as due
pillage, I refused this demand, and read to them openly at the mast the
articles confirmed by my lord treasurer and my lord admiral, by which
they ought to be directed in these things, declaring that it was not in
my power to dispose thereof until the same were finally determined at
home. Thereupon they mutinied, and grew at length to such fury, that
they declared they would have it or else would break down the cabin.
Seeing them ready to execute this threat, I was forced to yield, lest
the great number of Spaniards we had on board might have taken the
opportunity of rising against us; which, indeed, after the brawls of our
men were appeased, they actually endeavoured to have done.

By the last advice from Castile, the general of the king of Spains
armada, lately put to sea, is ordered to join his fleet with that of the
Indies, and to remain at Tercera till the 15th of October, waiting for
six _pataches_ with seven or eight millions of the royal treasure
expected by that time: otherwise they are to wait their coming from the
Havannah till January next, or until the kings farther pleasure shall be
made known. These pataches are said to be of 300 tons burden each,
carrying 30 pieces of brass cannon, and are also reported to sail in a
superior manner to any other ships. Before their coming to Flores,
there perished of the fleet of the Indies eleven sail, among which was
the admiral, and not one roan saved. It is likewise supposed by the
Spaniards, that the storms we encountered at Flores and Tercera must
have destroyed many more of them, of which indeed we were partly
eye-witnesses. On the whole, therefore, what by the seas and our men of
war, of the 75 sail that came from the Havannah, I presume one half will
not arrive in Spain.

On the night of the 11th October, we came to anchor in Plymouth sound,
and got up next morning with our prize into Catwater, for which God be
praised: For so vehement a storm arose, that our prize was forced to cut
away her main-mast, otherwise, her ground tackle being bad, she had been
driven on shore by the violence of the storm. This was the main cause
which induced me to put in here, where I now propose to discharge the
goods without farther risk, and have certified thus much to my lord
admiral, and therewith desire to receive the directions of my lords of
the council together with yours, as my lord Thomas Howard is not yet
returned. How the rest of our consorts, which separated from us, may
have sped, or what prizes they may have taken, of which there is much
hope by reason of the scattering of the West India fleet, I am as yet
unable to say any thing. And thus, waiting your answer, and referring
for all other matters to captain Furtho, the bearer hereof, I make an
end, at Plymouth this 24th of October 1591.

Your Worships loving Friend,


_Exploits of the English in several Expeditions and cruizing Voyages
from 1589 to 1592; extracted from John Huighen van Linschoten_[380].


The entire title of this article in Hakluyts Collection is, "A large
testimony of John Huighen van Linschoten, Hollander, concerning the
worthy exploits achieved by the right honourable the Earl of Cumberland,
by Sir Martine Frobisher, Sir Richard Grenville, and diverse other
English captains, about the isles of the Azores, and upon the coasts of
Spain and Portugal, in the years 1589, 1590, 1591, &c. recorded in his
excellent discourse of voyages to the East and West Indies, cap. 96, 97,
and 99." Of this article, the Editor of Astley gives the following

[Footnote 380: Hakluyt, II. 674. Astley, I. 225.]

"The author, John Huighen van Linschoten, left Goa with a fleet of
ships, viz. The Santa Maria, Nuestra Sennora de la Concepcao, the San
Christopher admiral, the San Thome which was the largest and most richly
laden, and the Santa Cruz in which Linschoten sailed. It was extracted
by Hakluyt from the 96th, 97th, and 99th chapters of the first book of
Linschotens Voyages in English, beginning at p. 171. This section is
intended as a supplement to the English cruizing voyages already
inserted, which fall within the period mentioned in the title; and is
the more material, as the memoirs it contains not only confirm the most
material facts related in these preceding voyages, but give a
satisfactory account of many things which are there but imperfectly
related, often continuing the history which in these breaks off
abruptly, and bringing to light some remarkable achievements of our
countrymen, of which otherwise no mention could be found in our
voluminous naval transactions.

"We are persuaded the reader will feel a secret joy in contemplating the
great figure this nation made in these heroic times; owing to that
universal zeal to promote the commerce and glory of England, which then
prevailed among the ministers of the crown, as well as the people at
large. We presume likewise, that this pleasure will be not a little
enhanced by the consideration that these particulars were written by a
foreigner, who is held in great reputation for his judgment and
fidelity, and who has sounded the praise of our countrymen even beyond
what has been done by our own historians. On the other hand, the reader
will be no less concerned to find what immense treasures some of our
adventurers lost, by unaccountably missing the fleets of which they went
in search, when at the same time they were so near them, that it seemed
almost impossible they should escape. This shews, after all, how
uncertain is the meeting of ships at sea, and that two great fleets may
sail almost close to one another, without having the least

* * * * *

The 22d of July 1589, about evening, being near the islands of Flores
and Corvo, we perceived three ships making towards us, which came from
under the land and put us in great fear, for they came close to our
admiral and shot diverse times at him and at another ship of our
company, whereby we perceived them to be English, for they bore the
English flag at their main-tops, but none of them seemed above 60 tons
burden. About evening they followed after us, and all night bore
lanterns with candles burning at their sterns, although the moon shined.
That night we passed hard by the island of Fayal; and next morning,
being between the isle of St George on our right and the small isle of
Graciosa on our left, we espied the three English ships still following
us. They consulted together, upon which one of them sailed backwards, as
if one ship had followed after us without company, and for a time that
ship was out of sight; but in no long time afterwards, it returned to
the other two, when they consulted again, and came all three together
against our ship, because we were to leeward of all our ships, having
the island of St George on one side instead of a sconce, [fort] thinking
so to deal with us as to force us to run on shore, to which we were very
near. In that manner they came bravely towards us, with their flags
displayed, sounding their trumpets, and sailed at least three times
about us, discharging at us their muskets and calivers and some pieces
of great ordnance, doing us no harm in the hull of our ship, but spoiled
all our sails and ropes, and so plagued us that no man durst put forth
his head. When we shot off a piece of ordnance, we had at the least an
hours work to load it again, there being a great noise and cry in our
ship, as if we had been all cast away, whereupon the English began to
mock us, calling out to us with many taunting words.

In the mean time, the other ships that were in company with us hoisted
all their sails, doing their best to bear away for Tercera, and not
looking once behind them to help us, as not caring for us, but doubting
they would be too late thither, and thinking they did enough if they
could save themselves, whereby it may be easily seen what kind of
company they keep with each other, and what kind of order is among them.
In the end, finding small advantage against us, and little knowing in
what fear we were, and also because we were not far from Tercera, the
English left us; on which we were not a little rejoiced, as thinking
ourselves risen from death to life, though we were not yet well assured
nor void of fear, till we got to anchor in the road of Tercera, under
the protection of the Portuguese fort, towards which we made all
possible sail. On the other hand, we were still in great doubt, not
knowing the situation of the island, or whether they were our friends or
enemies; and we were so much the more doubtful, because we found no man
of war there, nor any caravels of advice from Portugal as we expected,
to have convoyed us home, or given us intelligence, as they usually do
in that country. And, because the English had been so victorious in
those parts, we suspected that it went not well with Spain. The
inhabitants of Tercera were no less fearful than we, for on seeing our
fleet they thought us to have been English, and that we came to over-run
the island, because the three English ships came in along with us and
had wound up their flags; upon which the islanders sent out two caravels
to us that lay there, with advice from the king for such India ships as
should come there.

Those caravels came to view us, and perceiving what we were made after
us; upon which the English ships left us and made towards the caravels,
because the caravels thought them friends and shunned them not, as
supposing them of our company: But we shot three or four times, and made
signs to them that they should make towards the island, which they
presently did. On perceiving that, the Englishmen made out to sea: and
then the caravels sent on board us, saying that the people of the island
were all in arms, having received advice from Portugal, that Sir Francis
Drake was in readiness, and meant to come to the islands. They likewise
brought us news of the overthrow of the Spanish armada which had gone
against England, and that the English had been at the gates of Lisbon;
for which reason it win the king's commands that we should put into the
island of Tercera, and remain there under the protection of its castle,
till we received further orders, as it was then thought too dangerous
for us to continue our voyage to Lisbon. These news put all our fleet in
great fear, making us look upon each other as not knowing what to do or
say; as it was dangerous for us to put into the road, which lies open to
the sea, so that although they had the kings commands for so doing, the
India ships durst not anchor there, but only used to come thither,
standing off and on, and sending their boats a-land for such necessaries
as they wanted, without coming to anchor. But now necessity compelled us
to this measure, owing to our fears for the three small English ships,
also because of the kings orders, and because we understood that the
Earl of Cumberland was not far from these islands with sundry ships of
war. We made therefore a virtue of necessity, and entering the road of
Tercera, anchored close under the castle, in waiting for orders from the
king to pursue our voyage, it being then the 24th of July or St Jameses

The 12th of August, the Earl of Cumberland, with six or seven ships of
war, sailed past the island of Tercera; and to our great good fortune
passed out of sight. We then set out in all haste, and, for our greater
security, took along with us 400 Spaniards of those who were in garrison
in the island, and made sail for Lisbon with a favourable wind, so that
in eleven days we arrived in the river Tagus with great joy and triumph.
For, had we been one day longer of getting into the river, we had all
been taken by Captain Drake, [Sir Francis Drake] who came before Cascais
with 40 ships, at the very time when we cast anchor in the Tagus under
the guard of several gallies.

While I remained in Tercera, the Earl of Cumberland came to St Marys to
take in fresh water and other victuals; but the inhabitants would not
suffer him to have it, and wounded both the earl himself and several of
his men, so that they were forced to depart without having any thing.
Likewise, while I was at Tercera, the same earl came to the island of
Graciosa, where he went to land in person with seven or eight others,
demanding certain beasts, poultry, and other victuals, with wine and
fresh water, which they willingly gave him, after which he departed
without doing any injury, for which the inhabitants were very thankful,
praising his courtesy and faithfulness to his promise. The earl came
likewise at that time to Fayal, where at the first they begun to resist
him; but by reason of some controversy among themselves, they let him
land, when he razed the castle, throwing all the cannon into the sea,
and took with him certain caravels and ships that lay in the road, with
all such provisions as he wanted, and then departed. Thereupon, the king
caused the principal actors in that transaction to be punished, and went
thither a company of soldiers, which went from Tereera, with all kind of
warlike ammunition and great shot, rebuilding the cattle the better to
defend the island, and no more trusting to the Portuguese inhabitants.

The 9th of October 1589[381], there arrived in Tereera fourteen ships
from the Spanish West Indies, laden with cochineal, hides, gold, silver,
pearls, and other rich wares. When they departed from the harbour of the
Havannah, they were fifty in company; of which eleven sunk in the
channel [of Florida] by reason of foul weather, and all the rest were
scattered and separated from each other in a storm. Next day there came
another ship of the same fleet, which sailed close under the island
endeavouring to get into the road; when she was met by an English whip
that had not above three cast pieces [of ordnance], while the Spaniards
had twelve. They fought a long while together, which we in the island
could distinctly see. The governor of the island sent out two boats
filled with musketeers to aid the Spanish ship; but before they could
get up to her assistance; the English had shot her below water, so that
we saw her sink into the sea with all her sails up, and she entirely
disappeared. The Englishmens boat saved the Captain and about thirty
others, but not one pennyworth of the goods, which were to the value of
200,000 ducats, in gold, silver, and pearls. All the rest of the crew
were drowned, to the number of about fifty persons, among whom were some
friars and women, whom the English could not save. The English set all
the people they had saved on shore, and then sailed away. The 27th of
the same month of October 1589, these fourteen ships sailed from
Tercera, for Seville; and on coming to the coast of Spain, they were all
taken by some English ships that watched for them, two only excepted
which made their escape, all the rest being carried to England.

[Footnote 381: In Hakluyt, all that now follows is marked as extracted
from the 99th chapter of Linschoten.]

About this time, the earl of Cumberland, with one of the queens ships
and five or six others, kept hovering about the islands, and came
oft-times close to the island of Tercera, and to the road of Angra, so
near that the people on land could easily count all the men on his
decks, and could even distinguish one from another; they of the island
not once shooting at them, which they might easily have done, as they
were often within musket-shot of the town and fort. He continued in
these parts for the space of two months, sailing round about the
islands, and landed in Graciosa and Fayal, as I have already mentioned.
He took several ships and caravels, which he sent off to England, so
that the people of the islands durst not put forth their heads. At one
time, about three or four days after the earl had been at the island of
Fayal, and was departed from thence, there arrived there six ships of
the Indies, the general of which was one _Juan Dorives_, which landed in
that island four millions of gold and silver[382]. Then, being much in
fear of the English, and having refreshed themselves with all speed,
they set sail and arrived safe at San Lucar, without meeting an enemy,
to the great good luck of the Spaniards and bad fortune of the English;
for, within less than two days after the gold and silver was again laden
into the Spanish ships, the earl of Cumberland sailed past the island
again; so that if he had once got sight of these valuable ships, without
doubt he had got them all, as the Spaniards themselves confessed.

[Footnote 382: The denomination is not mentioned, perhaps _pezos_, or
what we call dollars.--E.]

In the month of November, two great ships arrived in Tercera, being the
admiral and vice-admiral of the fleet laden with silver, which had been
separated from the fleet in a great storm, and were in great jeopardy
and distress, ready to sink, being forced to use all their pumps, and so
terrified, that they wished a thousand times to have met the English, to
whom they would willingly have given all the silver, and every thing
they had on board, only to preserve their lives. Although the earl still
hovered about the islands, yet did he not meet with these ships, which
got with much labour and difficulty into the road of Angra, where with
all speed they unladed and landed about five millions in silver, all in
great pieces or ingots of 8 or 12 great pounds, so that the whole quay
lay covered with plates and chests of silver, full of pieces of eight
rials, most wonderful to behold: Each million being worth ten hundred
thousand ducats, besides gold, pearls, and other precious stones, which
were not registered. The admiral and chief commander of these ships, and
of the whole fleet to which they belonged, was _Alvaro Flores de Quin
Quiniones_, who was sick of the Neapolitan disease, and was brought to
land; and of which malady he died soon afterwards at Seville. He had
with him the kings commission under the great seal, giving him full
authority as general and commander in chief upon the seas, over all
fleets and ships, and in all places, lands, and islands, on shore
wherever he came; wherefore the governor of Tercera shewed him much
honour, and between them it was concerted, seeing the weakness of the
ships and the danger from the English, that they should send the ships
first empty of treasure to Seville or Lisbon, under a guard of soldiers,
when the king might give orders afterwards to fetch the silver home
under safe convoy. The said admiral Alvaro Flores staid there, under
colour of taking care of the silver, but chiefly because of his disease
and fear of the English. He had for his part alone, above the value of
50,000 ducats in pearls, which he shewed us, and sought to sell or
barter them with us for spices or bills of exchange. These two ships
sailed from Tercera with three or four hundred men, including those who
came with them from the Indies and soldiers; but while at sea in a
storm, the admiral split and sunk outright, not one man being saved; and
the vice-admiral, after cutting away her masts, ran aground hard by
Setubal, where she broke in pieces, some of the men saving themselves by
swimming, who brought the news of all the rest being drowned.

In the same month of November 1589, there came two great ships out of
the Spanish Indies, and when within half a mile of the road of Tercera,
they were met with by an English ship which fought them both together
for a long while, and took them both. About seven or eight months
before, there came an English ship to Tercera, pretending to be a
Frenchman come for traffic, and began to load woad, but being discovered
was confiscated to the king, both ship and cargo, and the men all made
prisoners, yet were allowed to roam up and down to get their livings, by
labouring like slaves, being considered in as safe custody in the island
at large as if in a prison. But at length, upon a Sunday, they all went
behind the hills called _Bresil_, where they found a fishing boat, in
which they rowed out to sea to the ships of the Earl of Cumberland, who
chanced for their good fortune to come to the island, and anchored with
his ships about half a mile from the road of Angra, close to two small
islands about a bare shot from the shore of Tercera, which are full of
goats, deer, and sheep, belonging to the inhabitants of Tercera. These
sailors knew this well, wherefore they rowed to these islands in their
boats, whence they took as many goats and sheep as they needed, which
was well seen by those of the town and main island, but they durst not
go forth to hinder them. By this exploit, there only remained behind the
master and merchant of the detained English ship. This master had a
brother-in-law in England, who, on hearing of his brothers imprisonment,
got a licence from the queen to fit out a ship, with which to endeavour
to recover his losses by cruizing against the Spaniards, by which to
redeem his brother from imprisonment in Tercera, and it was he who took
the two Spanish ships before the town: The before-mentioned merchant,
who was my intimate acquaintance, was standing on the shore along with
me, looking at them at the time. When these ships were taken, which were
worth 300,000 ducats, the brother sent all the men on shore, except only
two of the principal gentlemen, whom he kept to give in exchange for his
brother; and by the pilot of one of the captured ships he sent a letter
to the governor of Tercera, offering to send the two gentlemen on shore
if his brother were delivered up, otherwise he would carry them
prisoners into England, which indeed he did, as the governor would not
deliver up his brother, saying the gentlemen might make that suit to the
king of Spain. We invited that Spanish pilot to supper with us, and the
Englishmen likewise, when he related to us the particulars of the fight,
much commending the order and manner in which the English fought, as
also their courteous behaviour to him: But, in the end, the English
merchant stole away in a French ship, without paying any ransom.

In January 1590, there arrived one ship alone at Tercera from the
Spanish West Indies, bringing news that a fleet of an hundred sail,
which had set out from the Indies, were driven by a storm on the coast
of Florida, where they were all cast away, vast riches and many men
being lost, and she alone had escaped with the news. Thus by account, of
200 ships which were certainly known to have sailed out of New Spain,
San Domingo, Havannah, Cabo Verde, Brazil, Guinea, &c. in the year
1589, for Spain and Portugal, not above 14 or 15 of them arrived safe,
all the rest having either been foundered, cast away, or taken. In the
same month of January, there came to Tercera from Seville, 15 or 16
ships, mostly fliboats of the Low Countries, and some ships of Britanny,
that were arrested in Spain. These came out full of soldiers and well
provided with guns and ammunition, to lade home the silver that lay in
Tercera, and to bring home Alvaro Flores into Spain, by order of the
king. As at this time of the year there are always great storms about
these islands, the above-mentioned ships durst not enter the road of
Tercera, for it then blew so great a storm that some of the ships, which
had entered the road, had been forced to cut away their masts, and were
in much danger of being lost, and among these a ship of Biscay was
actually driven upon the coast and dashed to pieces, but all the men
were saved. The other ships were obliged to keep to sea and to separate
from each other, allowing themselves to drive at the mercy of the winds
and waves till the 15th of March, as in all that time they had not one
day of good weather in which to anchor, so that they endured much
distress, heartily cursing both the silver and the island.

When this storm was passed, they fell in with an English ship of about
40 tons, which by reason of the heavy wind could not hoist all her
sails, so that they took her. Hoisting her English ensign on the stern
of their admiral, the ships came now as proudly into the road-stead of
Tercera as if they had defeated the whole navy of England: But, just as
their admiral was entering the road, trickt out with the English flag on
his stern, there came by chance two English ships past the island, which
paid her so well for her bravity, that she had to cry out
_misericordia_. Had she been a mile farther out, the English ships
doubtless would have taken her; but getting under the guns of the
fortress, which began to play upon the English ships, they were forced
to leave her and put farther out to sea, after having slain five or six
of the Spaniards.

The Englishmen taken in the small ship were put under hatches, coupled
together in irons; and, after they had been three or four days
prisoners, a Spanish ensign in the ship, who had a brother slain in the
armada that went against England, took a fancy to revenge his brothers
death, and to shew his own manhood on these captives; whereupon, taking
a poinard, he stabbed six of them to the heart as they sat below in
irons. Two others of them perceiving this atrocious action, clasped each
other about the body, and leapt into the sea, where they were drowned.
This infamous act was much disliked by all the Spaniards, so that the
assassin was carried prisoner to Lisbon; upon which the king of Spain
commanded him to be sent to England, that the queen might use him
according to her pleasure; which sentence, at the earnest request of the
friends of the murderer, was commuted to an order for his being
beheaded; but on Good Friday, when the cardinal was going to mass, the
captains and commanders made such intercession for him, that he was
finally pardoned. I thought good to note this incident, that the bloody
and dishonourable minds of the Spaniards to those who were under
subjection to them, might be made manifest.

The same two English ships, which followed the Spanish admiral till he
took shelter under the guns of the fort, put out to sea, where they met
with the only remaining vessel of that fleet which had been scattered in
the storm, all the rest being now in the road. This small ship they
took, sending all me men on shore unhurt; but it they had known what had
been done to the English captives, I believe they would have taken
vengeance, as many an innocent soul afterwards paid for the atrocity of
the Spanish ensign. The ship now taken by the English, was the same
which had been formerly confiscated at Tercera, and was sold to the
Spaniards that then came from the Indies, who sailed in her to San
Lucar; where it also was arrested by the duke, and appointed to go along
with the others, to fetch the silver from Tercera, as it was a good
sailer; but it was the meanest of all that fleet. By this means, it was
taken from the Spaniards and carried to England, where the owners got it
again when they least expected.

On the 19th March 1590, having laden the kings silver and received
Alvaro Flores with his company, and good provision of necessaries,
warlike ammunitions and soldiers, the before-mentioned 19 ships sailed
from Tercera, firmly resolved, as they set forth, to fight valiantly to
the last man, before they would yield or lose their riches. Though they
intended to make for San Lucar, the wind forced them to Lisbon, as if
willing to keep them there in safety, although Alvaro Flores would have
persisted in forcing his way to San Lucar against the wind and weather.
But, constrained by adverse wind, and importunately urged by the
mariners, who protested they would require their losses and damages from
him, he consented to put in at Lisbon, whence the silver was conveyed by
land to Seville. At this time, there lay 20 English ships off Cape St
Vincent, to watch for this fleet; so that if they had gone forwards for
Sun Lucar, which they certainly had done if the wind had been fair, they
must have fallen into the hands of the English: They may say, therefore,
that the wind lent them a fortunate voyage on this occasion. If the
English had met them, they had surely been in great danger, and possibly
few of them had escaped, on account of the fear which they were then in
of the English; as fortune, or God rather, was then wholly against them,
which was enough to make the Spaniards out of heart, and to inspire the
English with the greater boldness; for being victorious, they were stout
and valiant, and seeing all their enterprizes successful, they were
become lords and masters of the sea, and needed to care for no man, as
well appears from this short narrative.

On the 7th of August 1590, a fleet of 20 English ships appeared off
Tercera, five of them being ships belonging to the queen, of which one
Martin Frobisher was general, as we afterwards learnt. They came
purposely to watch for the fleet of the Spanish West Indies, and for the
India ships, and the ships of the other countries in the West. This put
the islanders in great fear, especially those of Fayal, where the
English sent a trumpeter to the governor, to ask certain supplies of
wine, flesh, and other provisions for their money. This request was not
only refused, but they shot the messenger and slew him, which gave the
English much displeasure, so that they sent another message desiring
them to look to themselves and keep sure guard, as they meant to come
and visit them per force. The governor sent back for answer, that he was
there in behalf of the king of Spain, and would do his best to keep them
out, as in duty bound; but nothing was done after all, though the people
of Fayal were in great fear, sending to Tercera for aid, whence they had
some barks with powder and other ammunition of war, with some Biscuit
and other necessary provisions.

The 30th of August, certain news came from Portugal, that 80 ships had
sailed from _the Groin_, (Corunna) laden with victuals, ammunition of
war, money, and soldiers, bound for Britanny in aid of the catholic
leaguers of France against the king of Navarre. At this time likewise,
two Netherland hulks, when half seas over on their way from Portugal to
Tercera, were met by four English ships belonging to the queen,
commanded by Sir John Hawkins, by whom they were stopped; but he let
them go again uninjured. According to the report of these Netherlanders,
each of these ships carried 80 pieces of ordnance. They reported
likewise, that Captain Drake (Sir Francis) lay with 40 English ships in
the channel, watching for the fleet from Corunna; and that ten other
English ships lay off Cape St Vincent, that if any ships escaped
Frobisher at the islands, they might intercept them. These tidings
greatly alarmed the islanders, lest if the English failed of catching
the Spanish fleet, and got nothing by them, they might fall upon the
islands, that they might not go home empty handed; whereupon they held
strict watch, sending home advice to the king of what intelligence they

The 1st September, there came a Portuguese ship from Pernambuco in
Brazil to the island of St Michael, with news, that the admiral of the
Portuguese fleet from the East Indies, having missed St Helena, was
forced to put into Pernambuco, though expressly forbidden by the king
under a heavy penalty, because of the worms in that haven which greatly
spoil the ships. The same ship, in which was the Admiral Bernardin
Ribero, sailed the former year 1589 from Lisbon for India with five
ships in her company, four only of which got to India, the fifth being
never heard of, so that she was believed lost. The other four returned
safe into Portugal, though the admiral was much spoiled, as he met two
English ships, which fought him a long while and slew many of his men,
yet he escaped from them at last. The 5th of the same month, there
arrived at Tercera a caravel belonging to Corvo, bringing 50 men who had
been spoiled by the English, who set them ashore on the island of Corvo.
They had been taken in a ship coming from the Spanish West Indies, and
reported that the English had taken four other West India ships, and a
caravel having the king of Spains letters of advice for the Portuguese
ships coming from the East Indies; and that, including those they had
taken, the English had at least 40 ships together, so that nothing could
escape them; therefore, that the Portuguese ships coming from India
durst not put into the islands, but took their course between 40 deg. and
42 deg. of N. latitude, whence they shaped their course for Lisbon, shunning
likewise Cape St Vincent, as otherwise they could not look for safety,
the sea being quite full of English ships. Wherefore, the king advised
that the fleet now at Havannah in the Spanish West Indies, and ready to
sail for Spain, should remain till the next year, because of the great
danger of falling into the hands of the English. This was no small
charge and hindrance to the fleet, as the ships that remain long at the
Havannah consume themselves and in a manner eat up one another, from the
great number of their people, and the great scarcity and dearness of
every thing at that place; wherefore many of the ships adventured rather
to hazard themselves singly for the voyage than to stay there; all of
which fell into the hands of the English, and many of their men were
brought to Tercera: So that we could see nothing else for a whole day
but spoiled men set on shore, some from one ship and some from another,
it being pitiful to see and hear them all, cursing the English and their
own bad fortunes, with those who had been the cause of provoking the
English to war, and complaining of the small remedy and order taken
therein by the officers of the king of Spain.

The 19th of the same month of September, a caravel arrived at Tercera
from Lisbon, bringing one of the kings officers to cause lade the goods
that were saved from the Malacca ship, and for which we had so long
tarried there, and to send them to Lisbon. At the same time Don Alonso
de Bacan sailed from Corunna for the Azores with 40 great ships of war,
to wait for the fleets from the Spanish and Portuguese Indies, which,
along with our Malacca goods when laden, he was to convoy to the Tagus.
But, when he had been some days at sea, always with a contrary wind,
only two of his ships could get to the islands, all the rest being
scattered. When these two ships arrived at Tercera and did not find the
fleet, they immediately returned in search of it. In the mean time the
king changing his mind, sent orders for the commercial ships to remain
in the Indies, and for Don Alonso Bacan to return to Corunna, which he
did accordingly, never once coming near the Azores except the two ships
already mentioned; for he well knew that the English lay near Corvo, but
would not visit them, and so returned to Corunna. Thus our goods from
Malacca remained unshipped, and were trussed up again, having to wait
some other opportunity.

The 23d October in this same year 1590, a caravel came from Portugal to
Tercera, bringing advice that of the five ships which sailed in that
year from Lisbon for the East Indies, four of them had returned to
Portugal after being four months at sea: the admiral ship, in which was
the viceroy Mathias de Albuquerque, having only got to India after being
eleven months at sea without ever seeing land, as was afterwards learnt
by news over-land, having arrived in great misery at Malacca. In this
ship there died 280 men during the voyage out, according to a note sent
by the viceroy to the cardinal at Lisbon, with the names and sirnames of
every man, likewise giving a narrative of the voyage, and the misery
they had endured. This obstinate perseverance was entirely occasioned by
the anxiety of Albuquerque not to lose the government of Portuguese
India, as he had sworn to lose his life or arrive in India, which indeed
he did to the great danger and loss of his company, many of whom paid
with their lives, and that chiefly owing to want of provisions.
Albuquerque knew well, however, if he had returned to Portugal with the
other ships, that he would have been deprived of his government, as the
people began already to murmur at his proud and lofty demeanour. Among
other instances of his pride, he caused to be painted over his gallery,
the figure of Fortune and his own picture, with a staff standing by, as
if threatening Fortune, with this motto, _Quero que vencas_; that is, _I
will have thee to overcome_[383]. When this was read by the cardinal and
other gentlemen, who accompanied him on board out of respect, they
thought it an instance of foolish arrogance: But this is no strange
matter among the Portuguese, as they above all others _must let the fool
peep out of their sleeves_, especially when in authority. I knew Mathias
de Albuquerque in India, when a military officer, then beloved of all
men and behaving himself courteously to all, so that he was unanimously
desired to be their viceroy. But, having received his patent with full
power and authority, he so much changed from his former behaviour, that,
by reason of his pride, all began to fear and curse him, even before his
departure from Lisbon, such charges being often seen in many men, when
advanced to high state and dignity[384].

[Footnote 383: De Faria says, "The season was so far advanced when he
set out, that it was generally believed he would not accomplish the
voyage. But he caused himself to be painted on his colours standing on
Fortune; and, setting these up in his ship, declared he would perform
the voyage in spite of her, and did so" As De Faria does not reflect
upon him for this, it may be presumed, he thought it merely an
indication of an heroic disposition.--Astley, I. 231. a.]

[Footnote 384: De Faria gives a very advantageous character of this
viceroy, saying that he was one of the most deserving of those who
enjoyed that high station. He left 80,000 ducats in the treasury,
besides jewels of Ceylon of great value. He thought no one could cheat
him; yet, on purpose to undeceive him, a soldier drew his pay three
several times by as many names. He was of middle stature, and lame of
one foot, but not so in disposition and manners, being a good Christian
and well-bred gentleman.--Astley, I. 231, b.]

The 20th January 1591, news was brought from Portugal to Tercera, that
the English had taken a ship sent by the king to the Portuguese Indies,
carrying advice to the viceroy of the return of the four ships to
Portugal; which captured ship was stuffed full of goods, in consequence
of their return, besides having 500,000 ducats in ryals of eight. It
sailed from Lisbon in November 1590, and fought the English a long time,
but had at length to yield, and was carried to England, where all the
men were set free and returned to Lisbon, at which place the captain was
thrown into prison, but afterwards justified himself and was released,
as he told me personally. The English took, at the same time, a ship
coming from the Mina, laden with gold, and two ships laden with pepper
and other spices, bound for Italy, their pepper only being worth 170,000
ducats. All these rich prizes were carried clear off into England.

In July 1591, an earthquake commenced in the island of Tercera, which
continued from the 26th of that month to the 12th of August, or 18 days,
during all which time no person durst remain within a house, but all
fled into the fields in terrible consternation, fasting and praying
almost incessantly. Many houses fell down, and in particular a town
called Villa Franca was almost utterly destroyed, all its houses and
cloisters thrown down, and several people slain. In some places the
ground rose up, the cliffs were removed from their places, and even some
hills were thrown down and levelled with the adjoining plains. The
earthquake was so violent, that the ships in the road and in the
adjoining sea, were shaken as if the whole earth had been agitated to
its centre. In one place a fountain sprung from the ground, whence clear
water flowed in abundance for four days, and then ceased. All this time
a noise was heard under ground as of thunder, or as if all the devils in
hell had been assembled there, by which many died of fear. Four several
times the island of Tercera shook with such violence as if it had turned
upon its foundations, yet was it not overwhelmed. Earthquakes are common
in these islands, as about 20 years before there happened just such an
earthquake, when a hill, close to the town of Villa Franca, fell down
and buried all the town with earth, by which many people were
overwhelmed and slain.

The 25th of August, the kings armada from Ferrol arrived in Tercera,
consisting of 30 ships of war belonging to Biscay, Portugal, and Spain,
together with 10 Dutch fliboats that were pressed at Lisbon into the
service, besides other small vessels and _pataxos_ to serve as
advice-boats, and to scour the seas for intelligence. This fleet came to
wait for and convoy the ships from the Spanish Indies; and the fliboats
were for the purpose of bringing home to Lisbon our goods that were
saved in the lost ship from Malacca. This fleet arrived at the island of
Corvo on the 13th of September[385], where the English then lay waiting
for the fleet from the Spanish Indies, with a squadron of about 16
ships. Some or most of the Spanish ships were already come to the
Azores, and the English were in great hopes to have taken them: But, on
perceiving the Spanish fleet of war to be so strong, the lord Thomas
Howard, who was admiral of the English, gave orders to his fleet not to
assail the Spaniards, and on no account to separate from him without
special orders[386]. Yet the vice-admiral, Sir Richard Grenville, in his
ship the Revenge, bore into the Spanish fleet, and shot among them doing
much harm, thinking that the rest of the English ships would have
followed him, which they did not, but left him there and sailed away,
the reason of which could not be known. Perceiving this, the Spaniards
boarded the Revenge with 7 or 8 ships, but she bravely withstood them
all, fighting with them at the least 12 hours without ceasing, and sunk
two of them, one a double fliboat of 600 tons, and admiral of the
fliboats, the other a ship of Biscay. In the end, however, in
consequence of the overwhelming number that came against her, the
Revenge was taken, but to the heavy loss of the Spaniards, who lost in
the fight, either slain or drowned, above 400 men, while 100 of the
English were slain. Sir Richard was himself wounded in the brain, of
which he afterwards died.

[Footnote 385: It is probable, from this date, that the arrival of the
fleet at Tercera on the 25th August, as above, is an error; and that it
only then left Ferrol; on its voyage for Tercera.--E.]

[Footnote 386: See the English account of these events in the
immediately preceding section.--E.]

Sir Richard, after the Revenge yielded, was carried on board the San
Paulo, the ship in which was Don Alonso de Bacan, the admiral of the
Spanish fleet, where his wounds were dressed by the Spanish surgeons,
but Don Alonso would neither see nor speak to him. All the other
captains went to visit and comfort him in his hard fortune, wondering at
his courage and constancy, as he shewed no signs of faintness, not even
changing colour: But, feeling his death approaching, he spoke in Spanish
to the following purport: "Here die I Richard Grenville, with a joyous
and quiet mind, having ended my life as a true soldier ought to do,
fighting for my country, my queen, my religion, and my honour: so that
my soul most joyfully departeth from this body, and shall always leave
behind the everlasting fame of a true and valiant soldier, having done
my duty as became me." When he had finished these, or such like words,
he gave up the ghost with great and unshaken courage, no man being able
to perceive the least sign of concern. This sir Richard Grenville was a
great and rich gentleman of England, having large yearly revenues, but
of a daring and intrepid disposition, and much affected to warlike
enterprize; insomuch that he voluntarily offered his services to the
queen. He had performed many valiant deeds, and was greatly feared among
the islands, his intrepidity being well known to all. He was, however,
of a severe and rigid character, so that his own people feared and hated
him for his fierceness, and spoke very hardly of him. For, when they in
the Revenge first fell in among the Spanish fleet, they had their
mainsail in readiness, and might possibly have got away, as it was one
of the best sailing ships of the English; and, as the master perceived
that the rest of the squadron had left them, and did not follow up to
their support, he gave orders to _cut the mainsail_, that they likewise
should make off: But sir Richard threatened him and all the rest of the
crew, that if any man laid hold of the mainsail with that intent, he
would cause him to be hung up immediately; so that in fact they were
compelled to fight, and in the end were taken. He was of so hardy a
complexion, that, while among the Spanish officers, while at dinner or
supper with them, he would swallow three or four bumpers of wine, and
then by way of bravado, crush the glasses between his teeth and swallow
them, so that the blood ran out of his mouth, yet without any apparent
harm to him. This was told me by several credible persons, who had often
stood by and beheld him.

The Englishmen who remained alive in the Revenge, as the captain of the
soldiers, the master, and others, were distributed among the different
ships by which she was taken. On taking possession of her, a fight had
almost taken place between the Biscaineers and Portuguese who boarded
her, both claiming the honour of having boarded first, so that there
grew a great noise and quarrel among them, one seizing the chief ensign,
and the other the flag, the captains and every one holding their own.
The ships which had laid her on board were altogether out of order, and
sore shattered, having many of their men hurt, so that they had to come
to Tercera to be repaired. On their arrival, I and my chamber companion,
desirous to hear the news, went on board one of the twelve apostles, or
great ships of Biscay, whose captain was _Bartandono_[387], who had been
general of the Biscaineers in the great armada that went against
England. On seeing us, he called us into his gallery, where he received
us courteously, being then at dinner along with the English captain, who
was dressed in a suit of black velvet, but could not tell us any thing,
as he could speak no other language but English and Latin, which last
Bartandono could speak a little. The English captain was permitted by
the governor of Tercera to land with his sword by his side, and was in
our lodging visiting the Englishman who belonged to the ship of which
the sailors escaped, as I related before. This captain wrote a letter,
in which he related all the particulars of the fight, and left it with
that English merchant who resided in the lodging with us, to forward it
to the lord admiral of England. The captain went afterwards to Lisbon,
where he was honourably received, and sent, to Setubal, whence he sailed
for England with the other prisoners. The master likewise of the Revenge
came on shore, with licence from Bartandono, and lived in the same
lodgings with us. He had at the least 10 or 12 wounds, in his head and
body, of which he afterwards died on his voyage from the islands to

[Footnote 387: Named Britandona in the foregoing section.--E.]

The Spanish navy remained at the Azores till the end of September, to
assemble all the fleet together, which in the end amounted to the number
of 140 sail in all, including the ships of war and those of the Indies.
When all ready to sail, there arose suddenly so violent a storm, that
the islanders declared nothing like it had been seen in the memory of
man. The sea raged with such fury as if it would have swallowed up the
islands, the waves rising higher than the cliffs, so that it was amazing
to behold them, and living fish were thrown upon the land. The storm
lasted for seven or eight successive days, veering about to every point
of the compass at least twice or three times during its continuance,
with a continual tempestuous force most terrible to behold, even by us
who were on shore, much more to those who were on the sea, and exposed
to its fury. During this dreadful storm, above 12 ships were dashed to
pieces on the coasts and rocks of the island of Tercera all round about,
so that nothing was to be heard but weeping, lamenting, and wailing, now
a ship being broken in pieces in one place, then another at a different
place, and all the men drowned. For 20 days after the storm, nothing
else was done but fishing for dead men that were continually driving on
shore. Among the rest, the Revenge was cast away on a ledge of rocks
near the isle of Tercera, where she split to pieces and sunk, having in
her 70 men, Gallegos and Biscaineers and others, with some of the
captive English, one only of whom got upon the rock alive, having his
head and body all wounded. Being brought on shore, he told us the sad
tidings, and desired to be shriven, after which he presently died. The
Revenge had in her several fine brass pieces of artillery, which were
all sunk in the sea; but the islanders had great hopes of weighing them
up next summer.

Among those ships that were cast away about Tercera, was one of those
fliboats which had been arrested in Portugal for the kings service,
named the White Dove, the master of which was one Cornelius Martenson of
Schiedam in Holland, having in her 100 soldiers, as was the case in all
the rest. Being overruled by the Spanish captain, so that he could not
be master of his own ship, he was sailing about at the mercy of the
winds and waves, and came at length in sight of Tercera, whereupon the
Spaniards, thinking all their safety consisted in putting into the
roads, compelled the master and pilot to make towards the island; and
when they remonstrated, saying they would certainly be cast away and all
destroyed, the Spanish captain called him a drunkard and heretic, and
striking him with a staff, commanded him to do as he was ordered. Seeing
this, the master said, "Well then, since it is your desire to be cast
away, I can lose but one life." He then made sail for the land, which
was on that side of the island where there is nothing but rocks and
stones as high as mountains, most terrible to behold. Several of the
inhabitants stood on the cliffs with long ropes, having bundles of cork
fastened to one end, to throw down to the men, that they might lay hold
of them and save their lives. Few of them, however, got near enough for
this, as most of them were dashed to pieces before they could reach the
rocks forming the wall-like shore. At this time, when approaching the
rocks, the master, who was an old man, called his son who sailed with
him, and having embraced and taken a last farewell, the good old father
desired his son to take no note of him, but to seek and save himself.
"Son, said he, thou art young, and mayst have some hope of saving thy
life; but I am old and it is no great matter what becomes of me." Thus,
shedding many tears, as may well be conceived in such a situation, the
ship struck the rocks and went in pieces, the father and son falling
into the sea on different sides of the vessel, each laying hold on what
came first to hand, but to no purpose. The sea was so high and furious,
that all were drowned, except fourteen or fifteen who saved themselves
by swimming, with their legs and arms half broken and sore hurt. Among
these was the Dutch masters son and four other Dutch boys; all the rest
of the Spaniards and sailors, with captain and master, being drowned.
What heart so hard as not to melt at so grievous a sight, especially
considering the beastly and ignorant insolence of the Spaniards? From
this instance, it may be conceived how the other ships sped, as we
indeed partly beheld, and were informed by those few who were saved,
some of whom were our countrymen.

On the other islands the loss was no less than at Tercera, two ships
were cast away on the island of St George; two on Pico; three on
Graciosa. Besides those, there were seen everywhere round about, many
pieces of broken ships and other things, floating towards the islands,
with which the sea was everywhere covered, most pitiful to behold. Four
ships were cast away on the island of St Michael, and three more were
sunk between Tercera and St Michael, from which not one man was saved,
though they were seen and heard to cry out for aid. All the rest were
dismasted and driven out to sea, all torn and rent; so that of the whole
armada and merchant ships, 140 in all, only 32 or 33 arrived in Spain
and Portugal, and these with great pain, misery and labour, not any two
together, but this day one, to-morrow another, and next day a third. All
the rest were cast away about the Azores islands, or foundered at sea,
whereby may be judged what loss was incurred; as the loss was esteemed
greater by many, than had been sustained in the great armada that went
against England. It may very well be considered that this terrible
disaster was a just judgment of God against the Spaniards; and it may
truly be said that the taking of the Revenge was justly revenged against
them, not by the force of men, but by the power of God. Some of the
people in Tercera said openly, that they verily believed God would
consume them, and that he had taken part with the Lutherans and
heretics. They alleged farther, that so soon as they had thrown the body
of Sir Richard Grenville overboard, they verily believed, as he had a
devilish faith and religion, therefore all the devils loved him: For he
instantly sunk to the bottom of the sea, and down into hell, where he
raised up all the devils to revenge his death; and that they brought
these great storms and tempests upon the Spaniards, because they only
maintained the Catholic and true Romish religion. Such and the like
blasphemies did they utter openly and continually, without being
reproved of any one for their false opinions.

Of their fleet which sailed from New Spain, 50 in all, 35 were cast away
or foundered at sea, so that 15 only escaped. Of the San Domingo fleet,
14 were cast away coming through the channel from Havannah, the admiral
and vice-admiral being of the number. Two ships, coming from the Terra
Firma, laden with gold and silver, were taken by the English; and before
the fleet under Don Alonso de Bacan came to Corvo, at the least 20
ships, coming from San Domingo, India, Brazil, &c. had been taken at
different times by the English, all of which were sent to England.

Section XIV.

_Cruizing voyage to the Azores, in 1592, by Sir John Burrough,


THE title of this section as here given from Astleys Collection, is by
no means accurate, as the service performed by Burrough forms only one
prominent portion of the present narrative. The expedition which it
relates was fitted out and commanded by the memorable Sir Walter
Raleigh, and the entire title of this relation, as given by Hakluyt, is
as follows: "A true report of the honourable service at sea, performed
by Sir John Burrough, knight, lieutenant-general of the fleet prepared
by the honourable Sir Walter Raleigh, knight, lord warden of the
stanneries of Cornwal and Devon. Wherein chiefly the Santa Clara of
Biscay, a ship of 600 tons, was taken, and two East India Caraks, the
Santa Cruz and the Madre de Dios were forced; the one burnt, and the
other taken and brought into Dartmouth, the 7th September 1592."

[Footnote 388: Hakluyt, III. 9. Astley, I. 245.]

Even this long title does not clearly describe the narrative, as Sir
Walter Raleigh actually sailed on the expedition. But it is not
necessary to extend this observation, as the story will sufficiently
explain itself. The editor of Astleys collection, alleges that Sir
Walter Raleigh seems to have been the author of this article.--E.

* * * * *

Having received a commission from the queen for an expedition to the
West Indies, Sir Walter Raleigh used the utmost diligence in making all
necessary preparations, both in the choice of good ships and sufficient
men and officers, as the performance sufficiently evinced. His ships
were 14 or 15 in number; of which the two principal belonged to the
queen, called the Garland and Foresight The rest either belonged to
himself or his friends, or to the adventurers of London. As for the
gentlemen who went with him as officers, they were so well qualified in
courage, experience and discretion, that the greatest prince might think
himself happy in being served by the like. The honour of
lieutenant-general [vice-admiral] was conferred upon Sir John Burrough,
a gentleman every way worthy of that command, by his many good and
heroic qualities; with whom, after Sir Walter returned, was joined in
commission Sir Martin Frobisher; who, for his great skill and knowledge
in maritime affairs, had formerly held employments of similar or greater
importance. The rest of the captains, sailors and soldiers were men of
notable resolution, and who for the most part had before given
sufficient proof of their valour, in sundry services of the like nature.

With these ships thus manned, Sir Walter Raleigh departed towards the
west country, there to provide such farther necessaries as were needful
for the expedition. The wind blew long from the west, quite contrary to
his intended course, by which he was wind-bound many weeks, the fittest
season for his purpose being thereby lost, his victuals much consumed,
and the minds of his people greatly changed. When her majesty came to
understand how crossly all this went, she began to call the propriety of
this expedition in question, as the 6th of May was come before Sir
Walter could put to sea. Sir Martin Frobisher came to him the next day,
in a pinnace of the lord admiral called the Disdain, and brought her
majestys letters of recal, with orders to leave the fleet under the
command of Sir John Burrough and Sir Martin Frobisher. But, finding his
honour so far engaged, that he saw no means to save his reputation or
content his friends who had adventured great sums on fitting out the
expedition, Sir Walter pretended to understand the queens letters as if
they had left it to his choice either to return or proceed; wherefore he
would in no case leave his fleet, now under sail.

Continuing therefore his course to sea, he met within a day or two some
ships newly come from Spain, among which was a ship belonging to
Monsieur Gourdon, governor of Calais, on board of which was one Mr Nevil
Davies an Englishman, who had endured a long and miserable captivity of
twelve years, partly in the inquisition, and had now by good fortune
made his escape, and was on his way home. Among other things, this man
reported that there was little good to be done or expected this year in
the West Indies, as the king of Spain had sent express orders to all the
ports both of the islands and the main, that no ships were to sail that
year, nor any treasure to be shipt for Spain. Yet did not this
unpleasant intelligence induce Sir Walter to desist from his
proceedings; till, on Thursday the 11th of May, a tempest of great
violence, when he was athwart Cape Finister, so scattered the greater
part of his fleet, and sunk his boats and pinnaces, that Sir Walter, who
was in the Garland belonging to her majesty, was in danger of

Upon this, considering that the season of the year was too far gone for
the enterprize he meditated against Panama, having been detained by
contrary winds on the coast of England from February till May, in which
time he had expended three months victuals, and considering that to
cruize upon the Spanish coast or at the islands for the homeward bound
East or West India ships, was a mere work of patience, he gave
directions to Sir John Burrough and Sir Martin Frobisher, to divide the
fleet in two parts. Sir Martin, with the Garland, Captain George
Clifford, Captain Henry Thin, Captain Grenville and others, to lie off
the south cape, on purpose to oblige the Spanish fleet to remain on
their own coast; while Sir John Burrough, with Captain Robert Crosse,
Captain Thomson and others, should go to cruize off the Azores for the
caraks or any other Spanish ships coming from Mexico or other parts of
the West Indies. These intentions took effect accordingly: For the
Spanish admiral, having intelligence of the English fleet being on the
coast, attended to the defence of the southern parts of Spain, keeping
as near Sir Martin Frobisher as he could, to hinder the success of any
thing he might undertake, and thereby neglected the safe conduct of the

Before the fleet separated, they met with a great ship of Biscay on the
coast of Spain, called the Santa Clara of 600 tons, which was taken
after a stout resistance. She was freighted with all sorts of small iron
ware, as horse shoes, nails, ploughshares, iron bars, spikes, bolts,
locks, gimbols, &c. and valued by us at 6000 or 7000 pounds, though
worth treble that value to them. This ship was on her way to San Lucar,
to take in there some farther articles of freight for the West Indies;
and being first rummaged, was sent off for England. Our fleet then
sailed towards the south cape of St Vincent; and while near the rock of
Lisbon, Sir John Burrough in the Roebuck espied a sail far off to which
he gave chace. Being a fliboat and a quick sailer, she drew him far to
the south before he could fetch her, but at last, she came under his lee
and struck sail. The master gave information, that a great fleet was
prepared at Cadiz and San Lucar, destined according to report for the
West Indies; but the real object of this armament was this: Having
received notice that Sir Walter Raleigh was fitted out with a strong
force for the West Indies, the king of Spain had provided this great
fleet to oppose him; but, in the first place, as the East India caraks
were expected, this fleet was to convoy them home. But, as he persuaded
himself, if Sir Walter went to the West Indies, the Azores would only
have a few small ships of war to infest them, his orders to Don Alonzo
de Bacan, brother to the Marquis of Santa Cruz, and general of his
armada, were to pursue the fleet of Sir Walter Raleigh whatever course
he went, and to attack him wherever he could find him.

Our men soon found this to be true, for, not long after the capture of
the fliboat, as Sir John Burrough sailed back again to rejoin his fleet,
he discovered the Spanish fleet to seaward; which, espying him between
them and the shore, made themselves sure of carrying him into a Spanish
harbour. For this purpose, they spread themselves in such sort before
him, that his danger was very great, as his course to seawards was
utterly impeded, and the land being hostile could yield him no relief.
In this extremity, putting his trust in God and his good ship, he thrust
out from among them with all sail, and in spite of their force and
notable cunning to intercept him, got clear off. Having thus got clear,
and finding the coast so well guarded by this fleet, and knowing it were
only folly to expect meeting with Sir Martin Frobisher, who knew of the
armada as well as himself, and would be sure to avoid them, he began to
shape his course directly for the Azores, according to the orders of Sir
Walter Raleigh, and soon came in sight of St Michael, running so near
the town of Villa Franca, that he could easily discern the ships that
lay there at anchor. He intercepted several small vessels, both here and
between St Georges and Pico in his course to Flores, but could get no
intelligence from them for his purpose.

Arriving before Flores on Thursday the 21st June towards evening, then
only accompanied by captain Caufield and the master of his ship, the
rest not being yet arrived, be made towards the shore in his boat, where
he found all the inhabitants of Santa Cruz, a village or small town of
that island, under arms, and drawn up to oppose his landing. Having no
intention of committing hostilities, Sir John shewed a white flag in
token of amity, which was answered by the islanders, upon which a
friendly conference ensued, and hostages were taken on both sides, the
captain of the town for them, and captain Caufield for us; so that
whatever our people wanted and that place could supply, as fresh water,
victuals, or the like, was freely granted by the inhabitants, and our
people had leave to refresh themselves on shore without restraint, as
long and as often as they pleased. At this place Sir John Burrough was
informed, that they had no expectation of any fleet coming from the West
Indies; but that only three days before his arrival, a carak had passed
by from the East Indies for Lisbon, and that there were four more behind
all of one convoy. Being very glad of this news, Sir John embarked
immediately, having at this time in his company only a small bark of
Bristol, belonging to one Mr Hopkins.

In the meanwhile, part of the English ships that Sir John had left on
the coast of Spain drew towards the Azores; and Sir John very soon got
sight of one of the caraks. The same evening he descried two or three of
the earl of Cumberlands ships, whereof one Mr Norton was captain, which
had descried the carak and pursued in the track she was following for
the islands, but no way could be made by either party, as it was almost
a dead calm. In this dilemma, on purpose to discover her force, burden,
and countenance, Sir John took his boat and rowed three miles towards
her, to make her out exactly; and on his return, having consulted with
his officers, it was resolved to board her in the morning. A heavy storm
arose in the night, which forced them to weigh anchor, yet did they bear
up amain against the weather, not to lose the carak. In the morning,
being very near the shore, our men could perceive the carak close to the
land, and the Portuguese using their utmost endeavour to convey whatever
they could from her on shore. Seeing our men making all haste to come
upon her, the Portuguese forsook her, but first, that nothing might be
left for our men, they set her on fire, that neither the glory of
victory nor the benefit of the ship and cargo might remain to the
English. And, lest the English might find means to extinguish the fire,
and thereby to preserve a part of the cargo, being in number 400 well
armed men, they entrenched themselves on shore as near as possible to
the carak, to keep our men aloof till the fire might consume the carak
and all her contents.

Seeing this, Sir John landed with an hundred of his men, many of whom
had to swim on shore or wade more than breast high; and having easily
dispersed those who guarded the shore, he no sooner approached the
entrenchment but the Portuguese fled, leaving as much as the fire had
spared to reward the pains of our men. Among others taken at the
entrenchment, were a Portuguese called Vincent Fonseca, purser of the
carak, with two of her cannoneers, one a German, and the other a
Hollander; who, refusing to give any account voluntarily of what was
asked, were threatened with torture, and then confessed that within
fifteen days three other caraks would certainly arrive at the same
island, there being five caraks in the fleet at their departure from
Goa, the Buen Jesus admiral, Madre de Dios, San Bernardo, San
Christophoro, and Santa Cruz, that now on fire. They had especial orders
from the king of Spain, not in any case to touch at St. Helena, where
the Portuguese caraks used always till now to refresh on their way from
the East Indies, procuring water and fresh, provisions. The reason of
this order was, that the king was informed the English men of war meant
to lie there in wait for them. If therefore, their necessities should
drive them to seek supply any where, they were commanded to put in at
Angola on the coast of Africa, and only to remain there so long as was
necessary to take in water, that they might avoid the inconvenience of
infections, to which that hot country is dangerously liable. The last
rendezvous appointed for them was the island of Flores, where they were
assured of a naval force meeting them and convoying them to Lisbon.

On receiving this intelligence, Sir John held a council with Captains
Norton, Downton, and Abraham Cocke, commanding three ships of the Earl
of Cumberland, Mr Thomson of Harwich, captain of the Dainty, belonging
to Sir John Hawkins, one of Sir Walter Raleighs fleet, Captain
Christopher Newton of the Golden Dragon, newly come from the West
Indies, and others. To these he communicated the intelligence he had
just got from the foresaid examination, and what great presumptions of
truth appeared in their story; and wishing, since God and their good
fortune had so opportunely brought them together, that they might unite
their utmost endeavours to bring these Orientals under the lee of
English obedience. Upon this it was mutually agreed not to part company
or leave these seas, till time and opportunity should enable them to put
their consultations into execution. Next day her majestys ship
Foresight, Sir Robert Cross, joined them, and he, being informed of the
matter, entered heartily on this service. Then Sir John, with all these
ships, went 6 or 7 leagues to the west of Flores, spreading them out in
a line from north to south, each ship at least two leagues distant from
each other, by which order they were able to discover two whole degrees
of the sea.

They lay in this manner from the 29th of June to the 3d of August, when
Captain Thomson in the Dainty had first sight of the huge carak called
the Madre de Dios, one of the greatest belonging to the crown of
Portugal. Having the start of the rest, and being an excellent sailor,
the Dainty began the combat something to her cost, by the slaughter and
hurt of several of her men. Within a little Sir John Burrough came up to
second her in the Roebuck, belonging to Sir Walter Raleigh, and saluted
the Madre de Dios with great shot, continuing the fight within
musket-shot, assisted by Captains Thomson and Newport, till Sir Robert
Cross came up, who was vice-admiral and was to leeward, on which Sir
John asked his opinion what was best to be done. Sir Robert said, if she
were not boarded she would reach the shore and be set on fire, as had
been done with the other. Wherefore Sir John Burrough concluded to
grapple her, and Sir Robert Cross engaged to do so likewise at the same
moment, which was done accordingly. After some time in this situation,
Sir John Burroughs ship received a shot of a _cannon perier_[389] under
water; and, being ready to sink, desired Sir Robert to fall off, that he
also might clear himself and save his ship from sinking. This was done
with much difficulty, as both the Roebuck and Foresight were so
entangled that they could not clear themselves.

[Footnote 389: Probably a large stone ball.--E.]

That same evening, finding the carak drawing near the land, Sir Robert
Crosse persuaded his consorts to board her again, as otherwise there
were no hopes of taking her. After many fears and excuses, he at last
encouraged them, and then went athwart her bows all alone, and so
hindered her sailing, that the rest had time to get up to the attack
before she could make the land. So, towards evening, after Sir Robert
had fought her three hours singly, two of the Earl of Cumberlands ships
came up, and then they and Sir Robert Crosse carried her by boarding
with very little loss, as Sir Robert by this time had broken their
courage, and made the assault easy for the rest. Having disarmed the
Portuguese, and bestowed them for better security as prisoners into the
other ships, Sir Robert had now time to contemplate the proportions of
this vast carak, which did then, and may still provoke the admiration of
all men not accustomed to such a sight. But though this first view
afforded our men sufficient admiration, yet the pitiful sight of so
many bodies slain and mangled drew tears from their eyes, and induced
them to lend aid to those miserable people, whose limbs were sore torn
by the shot, and their bodies agonized by a multitude of wounds. No man
could almost step but upon a dead carcass or a bloody floor, but
especially about the helm, where many of them had been slain while
endeavouring to steer, as it required the united strength of twelve or
fourteen men at once to move the rudder, and some of our ships beating
in at her stern with their ordnance, often slew four or five labouring
on each side of the helm at one shot, whose places were immediately
supplied by fresh hands, and as our artillery incessantly plied them
with continual vollies, much blood was necessarily spilt in that place.

Moved with compassion for their misery, our general immediately sent
them his own surgeons, withholding no possible aid or relief that he or
his company could supply. Among those whom this chance of war had
rendered most deplorable, was Don Fernando de Mendoca, grand captain and
commander of this mighty carak, descended of the house of Mendoca in
Spain, but having married in Portugal, lived there as one of that
nation. He was a gentleman well striken in years, of comely personage
and good stature, but of hard fortune. In the course of his services
against the Moors he had been twice taken prisoner, and both times
ransomed by the king. In a former return voyage from the East Indies, he
was driven upon the _Baxos_ or sands of _India_, near the coast of
Sofala, being then captain of a carak which was lost, and himself fell
into the hands of the infidels on shore, who kept him in a long and
rigorous captivity. Once more, having great respect for him, and willing
to mend his fortune, the king had given him the conduct of this huge
carak, in which he went from Lisbon as admiral of the India fleet, and
had returned in that capacity, but that the viceroy embarked in the Bon
Jesus, and assumed that rank in virtue of his late office. Not willing
to add too severely to the affliction of this man, Sir John Burrough
freely dismissed Don Fernando and most of his followers, giving them
some vessels for that purpose, with all necessary provisions.

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