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England Under the Tudors by Arthur D. Innes

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treasure-ships, which of course had never dreamed of meeting a hostile
vessel; but allowed the crews to depart. Naturally a force was soon in
pursuit. Oxenham, with a fourth of their numbers, attacked them: half
his men were killed in the fight, and nearly all the rest including
Oxenham himself were put to death. Drake had already started before the
news reached England.

[Sidenote: Drake's great voyage, 1577]

In December 1577 Drake sailed from Plymouth with five ships; himself on
board the largest, the _Pelican_, of 100 tons. His purpose was to
invade the Pacific by the straits of Magellan. Therefore, after
touching at the Cape Verde Islands, he made not for the Spanish Main
but for Patagonia. Here at Port St. Julian occurred the famous episode
of the execution of Thomas Doughty, [Footnote: See the examination of
the authorities and the evidence in Corbett, _Drake and the Tudor
Navy_, i., ch. viii.] on charges which may be summed up as those of
treason and incitement to mutiny, wherewith was apparently mixed up a
conviction on Drake's part that Doughty exercised witch-craft to bring
on bad weather. It is not improbable at least that Doughty was really
acting in the interests of that party in England which was opposed to
the whole policy of the raid, and believed that he would have at his
back Lord Burghley, from whom the objects of the expedition were
supposed, erroneously, to be a secret. The Straits were reached at the
end of August; but were scarcely passed when a storm parted the ships.
John Winter, Drake's second in command, after waiting some while, gave
his consorts up for lost and returned home. The Pelican, which Drake
had re-christened the Golden Hind, alone remained to carry on the
adventurous voyage. The precise course taken by the ships in the storms
at this time is uncertain: but it seems clear that in some way or other
Drake obtained satisfactory evidence that Tierra del Fuego was only an
island, and that the Pacific could be reached by rounding Cape Horn.
[Footnote: _State Papers, Spanish_, iii., p. 341. See also Corbett,
i., pp. 269, 270.]

[Sidenote: Drake in the Pacific, 1578]

In due time then, when there seemed to be no more prospect of being
rejoined by Winter, the Pelican proceeded on its expedition. In
December, Drake astonished Valparaiso by sailing in and seizing a prize
and stores: no one had dreamed of an English ship in the Pacific.
Thence he proceeded, exploring the coast, and creating general alarm,
till he reached Callao, the port of Lima; where he secured a prize,
with which he started in pursuit of a great treasure ship known as the
Cacafuego, which he learnt had sailed a few days before. A couple of
ships were sent after him; so he cleared out his prize, left it adrift
for his pursuers to recover, and showed them a clean pair of heels.
After a long pursuit, and the capture of more minor prizes--which he
let go, after taking what he wanted, leaving intact the private
property of those on board--he overtook the Cacafuego, securing an
immense treasure and some exceedingly useful charts.

[Sidenote 1: Drake in the Northern Pacific 1579]
[Sidenote 2: The return, 1580]

Satisfied, after securing two more prizes, with the damage done to
Spain, and the rich spoils collected, he turned his attention to
geographical discoveries; for in passing Magellan's Strait he had had
two predecessors, but none in the northern regions which he had now
reached. Finding harbourage on the Californian coast, he repaired the
Pelican thoroughly, and then proceeded on a voyage of circumnavigation;
the spring of 1579 being now well advanced. His first idea was to look
for that imagined North East Passage, in the search for which
Willoughby had lost his life nearly five and twenty years before: and
with this object in view he sailed some hundreds of miles further North
than any explorers in the Pacific had hitherto gone. Coming, however,
to the conclusion that he was not equipped for such a venture as this
promised to be, he again returned to California to refit. There he
established most friendly relations with the natives, who were anxious
to deify him: and thence he started again to find his way across the
Pacific to the Cape of Good Hope. After much intricate and dangerous
navigation among the Spice Islands-in the course of which Drake made a
treaty with the Sultan of Ternate, and the Pelican was all but lost on
a reef-she rounded the Cape in January, sailing into Plymouth Sound on
September 26th, 1580, a little less than three years from the day when
she began her voyage. Drake was the first commander who conducted a
circumnavigation from start to finish. His precursors had died on the
voyage, and left their ships to be brought home by subordinates.

Luckily perhaps for Drake, he arrived just at the time when Philip's
subjects were aiding the Irish rebellion; and the English Queen could
claim that her great subject had been doing to Spain nothing so bad as
what Philip was countenancing in Ireland. Burghley alone refused to
have part or lot in the profits of what he held to be a lawless exploit,
but the rigid Walsingham applauded. Drake was knighted, and his name
was on every lip. More than that, the whole performance imbued English
sailors with an un-conquerable conviction that they were more than a
match for all the maritime power of Spain, and with an ardent longing
to put that conviction to the proof. Drake was the idol not only of
every seaman who had sailed under him, but of the entire English People.

Hawkins after 1567 and Drake after 1580 made no more great voyages for
their own hand. Hawkins, a past master in all that concerned ships and
shipping, was presently appointed Treasurer and practically controller
of the Royal Navy, and brought the Queen's ships to a high pitch of
perfection. Drake became, practically if not nominally, the first of
the Queen's admirals. Both, with two more among the explorers of whom
we have still to speak, were to play leading parts in the fight with
the Armada.

[Sidenote: Various Voyages, 1576-88]

Of these two, the more famous is Martin Frobisher, who in the early
sixties was one of the captains who made war on Philip's ships in the
English Channel. Between 1576 and 1578, he made three voyages in search
of the North West Passage-accompanied on two of them by the second
explorer referred to, Edward Fenton-visiting Greenland and exploring
Frobisher's Strait. [Footnote: Now known to be not a Strait but a Bay.]
The ships with which he made the first voyage were of no more than 25
and 20 tons [Footnote: _Royal Navy,_ i., p. 624.] respectively. In
1582 Fenton captained another expedition, which seems to have been
intended for Magellan but got no further than the Brazils, returning
after a successful engagement with some Spanish ships. Another
circumnavigation was accomplished by Thomas Cavendish (1586-8), who
wrought great damage to the Spanish settlements, burning as well as
looting, and brought home considerable spoils; but this expedition was
undertaken when England and Spain were technically at war.

Just before Cavendish sailed, John Davis, second to no English explorer
save Drake, commenced his series of Arctic voyages, learned much of
ice-navigation, and on the third voyage in 1587 discovered Davis'
Strait. These Arctic expeditions were of course quite unconnected with
the Spanish struggle; but while they exemplified the magnificent spirit
of English sailors, they also materially advanced English seamanship.

[Sidenote: Raleigh]

In these years preceding the Armada, there were those who, not content
with adventure and exploration by sea, made the first tentative efforts
from which in after days was to spring the vast colonial dominion of
Britain. There was hardly one of these enterprises which was not
directly due to the initiative, the exertions, and the persistence of
Walter Raleigh. Others no doubt took their share, whether moved by his
arguments or in a miscellaneous spirit of adventure; but Raleigh's was
the vision of a New England beyond the seas; a goal to dream of and to
strive for through weary years of failure and disappointment: an ideal
which appealed at once to an intellect among the keenest and an
imagination among the boldest of a time which abounded in keen
intellects and bold imaginations.

[Sidenote: Gilbert]

As early as 1578, when he was but six and twenty, Raleigh took part in
one such abortive venture, along with his half-brother the enthusiast
and dreamer Humphrey Gilbert: the same man whose paradoxical barbarity
in Ireland [Footnote: See p. 311, _ante_.] we have already
noticed: a barbarity very difficult at first sight to reconcile with
the high chivalrous spirit, the odd sentimentality, and the fundamental
piety which, besides his absolutely fearless courage, characterised Sir
Humphrey in a degree only a little more marked than numbers of his
contemporaries. A few years later, in 1583, Gilbert made his second
disastrous attempt to establish a colony in "Norumbega," the name given
to a vague region in the Northern parts of North America. Five ships
sailed. The attempt was a complete failure, and on the return voyage
Sir Humphrey went down with the little _Squirrel_, the smallest of
his ships, which foundered with all hands. The last time a consort was
within hail, he greeted her with the natural expression of his faithful
and courageous soul--"we are as near God by sea as by land". The story
is worth pausing over, for it is supremely characteristic. We may call
these men what we will; they persuaded themselves of the righteousness
of acts which shock an age in some respects more sensitive; but they
wrought mightily for England, and a main source of their triumphs was
their trust in the God whose cause they identified with their own, a
faith which was a living, impelling, force.

[Sidenote: Virginia]

Raleigh had not accompanied the expedition though he was one of the
promoters. In the following year he dispatched an expedition for
exploration and settlement in Norumbega, which took possession of a
district in what is now Carolina, naming it Virginia in honour of the
Virgin Queen. Thither, again on an expedition of Raleigh's, went Sir
Richard Grenville with Ralph Lane and others a year later (1585). Lane
remained with a company of a hundred men at Roanoake; Grenville
accomplished a characteristic feat of arms against a Spaniard on his
way home. But when after another year Raleigh sent succours to his
colony, the company was found to have withdrawn, having been taken off
by Drake's flotilla after he had accomplished his raid on Cartagena.
[Footnote: see p.334, _ante_.] Grenvilie however, reappearing,
left a small party. In 1587 Raleigh sent again; Grenville's party had
vanished, but a new colony was left. Twice again he sent, in 1590 and
in 1602, but both times without success. The colonists, except some
half dozen, had been massacred. The path to Empire is whitened by the
bones of the Pioneers. In the reign of the Virgin Queen, the attempt to
colonise Virginia failed utterly; but the failure was the precursor of
ultimate triumph. The United States owe their being to Sir Walter
Raleigh.

CHAPTER XXIV

ELIZABETH (ix), 1587-88--THE ARMADA

[Sidenote: 1587 Results of Mary's Death]

If Mary Stewart displayed the most royal side of her character in the hour
of her doom, Elizabeth displayed the least royal side of hers in the weeks
that followed. She disavowed Davison's act, disgraced him, sent him to the
Tower; she would have had him tried for treason but that the judges
declared emphatically that the charge could not hold water. She was obliged
to be content with the infliction of a heavy fine, and dismissal. She could
not trample on the whole of her Council, who had deliberately assumed the
responsibility: but to France and to Scotland she clamoured that the deed
was none of her doing. There was an elvish humour in the Scots King's reply
that he would hold her innocent when she had faced and disproved the charge
--accentuated by her answer that as a sovereign she was not amenable to
trial; for it was a quite precise reversal of the tone adopted eighteen
years before, when Mary was the accused party; and Elizabeth now found
herself reduced to the very plea which she had ignored when Mary urged it
in her own behalf. The position was ignominious; yet Elizabeth had no one
but herself to thank. She might have avowed and justified the Act;
disavowing it, the only logical course was to punish those on whom the
guilt lay. She tried to evade the dilemma, by crushing the most
insignificant one among them and scolding the rest, while protesting on her
own part an innocence which was a palpable hypocrisy.

The Scots however might rage; James might find gratification in an
argumentative victory; but for more pronounced action he wanted more than a
sentimental inducement. Politically Elizabeth had won the game by the
method peculiar to herself and her father--of counting on their servants to
shoulder the responsibility. While Mary lived there was always the chance
that the Catholics of England might be rallied to the standard of a
Catholic princess whose legitimacy was indisputable. But they would not
rally to that of her Protestant son, or consent to have England turned into
a province of the Spanish King. Even Catholic Europe could not view such a
prospect with enthusiasm or even equanimity, however much the
uncompromising devotees of the Holy See might desire it. In France it was
only the extremists of the League who could countenance such a scheme. In
England, the death-blow of the Scots Queen was the death-blow also to the
chances of a Catholic revolt. Despite the fervid dreams of Allen and
Parsons, the entire Nation was ready to oppose an undivided front to any
foreign assailant.

[Sidenote: Attitude of Philip]

The time, however, had at last arrived when Philip had definitely made up
his mind that the overthrow of Elizabeth must no longer be deferred. This
was an end which he had desired certainly for eighteen years past.
Whenever he had an ambassador in England, that ambassador had been more or
less deeply involved in every plot or attempted insurrection against the
throne. But Philip had never concentrated his efforts on that design. He
had held on to the theory that the Netherlands must be first crushed. When
once they were brought into complete subjection, he would make England feel
the full extent of his power. And so year after year passed, the revolted
Provinces obstinately holding out in a struggle which year after year it
had seemed impossible for them to go on maintaining. More than once
advisers had suggested that it would be better to reverse the order; to
crush England first, and then finish off the Netherlands at his
leisure. But this scheme always involved a danger: he had no alternative,
if he succeeded, but to set Mary on the throne in place of her cousin;
Mary, once established, even by his aid, might attach herself to France
instead of to Spain; and the balance of parties in France was so uncertain
--depended so much on the action of the Politiques--that in such an event
he might still find that he had a very dangerous Anglo-French combination
to reckon with in settling his accounts with the Provinces.

[Sidenote: Attitude of Elizabeth]

On the other hand, whether Elizabeth's policy had been dictated by a most
consummate, if by no means elevated, state-craft based upon an abnormally
astute calculation of risks and chances, or merely by a desperate desire to
stave off an immediate contest, whatever shifts might be involved; whether
it was in fact peculiarly long-sighted, or opportunist to the last and
lowest degree; it had been actually a complete success. She had given the
Provinces just that minimum of assistance or apparent countenance which did
enable them to keep their resistance alive. In France she had done just
enough, for the Huguenots, to hamper the Guises and no more; and she had
kept up the eternal marriage juggle, the eternal menace of an alliance with
the French court, which would have doubled Philip's difficulties in the
Netherlands, and might have trebled the dangers of a direct attack on
England--thereby perpetually driving Spanish diplomacy to seek to detach
her decisively from France by professions of a desire for amicable alliance
with her. She had replied to the Spanish efforts by perpetual declarations
of a corresponding order, and by constant negotiations, always at the last
moment rendered futile by the introduction of some condition at the time
impossible of acceptance.

[Sidenote: The situation]

At last, however, the endless evasion had ceased to be possible.
Leicester's campaign in the Netherlands, feeble as it was, and Drake's
expedition to Cartagena, put an end to the theory that Spain and England
were at peace. It was known that in the ports of Spain and Portugal Philip
was making his slow preparations for a naval attack; his ablest admiral,
Santa Cruz, had formulated a vast scheme--vaster indeed than Philip was
ever prepared to adopt. The Guises were prepared to go any lengths to
prevent the legitimate Protestant succession in France; and the French King
had publicly thrown in his lot with the Guises. Now also Mary Stewart was
not only out of the way herself, but before her death had declared against
the succession to her own claims of her son, and had acknowledged Philip,
[Footnote: _State Papers, Spanish,_ iii., p. 581; and _ante,_ p.
338.] a legitimate descendant of John of Gaunt, as her heir. At last in
Philip's mind the suppression of Elizabeth acquired precedence over the
suppression of the Provinces.

The near approach of a life-and-death struggle made no difference whatever
in the English Queen's methods. Eighteen months before, she had struck one
hard blow by sea, when she dispatched Drake on the Cartagena expedition,
but otherwise had merely played at helping the Netherlanders, by sending an
army and paralysing it for action. She did exactly the same thing now.

[Sidenote: April: Drake's Cadiz expedition]

Drake, with a squadron not large either in numbers or in tonnage but
exceedingly efficient, had orders to sail from Plymouth to "singe the King
of Spain's beard," as he phrased it. Drake knew his Queen, and got himself
out of port before the appointed day, on April 2nd. The expected counter-
orders arrived in due time--when he was out of reach. Elizabeth possibly
knew her Drake and reckoned on his premature departure, while she had
secured her loop-hole for shuffling out of the responsibility. He carried
out the singeing business most effectively. Making for Cadiz, where it was
known that stores and ships were accumulated, he stood into the harbour,
sunk one ship of war there, cleared out so much of the stores as he could
accommodate, and fired the bulk of the shipping, cutting the cables. Drake
then captured the Sagres forts at Cape St. Vincent, intending to lie in
wait for an expected squadron from the Mediterranean; but departed after a
short interval, being minded to sail into the port of Lisbon where the
Admiral Santa Cruz lay with the bulk of the Armada. This exploit, however,
he was obliged to forgo, [Footnote: Corbett, _Drake and the Tudor
Navy_, ii., pp. 97 ff. The account there given is followed here. The
author points out that Froude and others have been misled by the almost
certain misdating of a letter of Drake's which he attributes to 1589.]
contenting himself with a challenge to Santa Cruz to come out and fight,
which he was in no condition to do. Returning to Cape St. Vincent, Drake
there remained long enough to stop the expected squadron, and throw the
whole of Philip's transport arrangements out of gear. Satisfied with the
destruction wrought, which served to cripple at least the mobility of the
Armada for many months, he then sailed for the Azores, where he fell in
with a great Spanish _East_ Indiaman, the _San Felipe_, whereof
the spoils very satisfactorily filled the pockets of his crews; and so
returned home, having made it all but impossible that the invading fleet
should sail during 1587.

[Sidenote: Negotiations with Parma]

Then, month after month, Elizabeth carried on the old practice in the
Netherlands. She negotiated persistently with Parma, on the old basis, that
the Provinces had a right to their old constitution but nothing more. Of
course she knew that the Provinces would never assent to that solution. On
the favourable view of her policy, it must be held to have rested on a
fixed determination not to make the Netherlands her field of battle. For
Sluys, one of the forts which she held, so to speak, in pawn from the
States, was taken after a stubborn siege and at immense cost both in money
and men by Parma, simply because Maurice of Nassau was too uncertain as to
her real intentions to make a serious effort for its relief. Confidence in
her had sunk to the lowest point when, some months before, an English
captain, Stanley, had handed over the town of Deventer, which was in his
charge, to the Spaniards, whose service he himself entered. The Provinces,
Parma, Elizabeth's own Ministers, believed that she meant the negotiations
in earnest. Parma, who knew how tremendous a task the invasion of England
must be, would have liked to come to terms, but Philip would not give him
the authority; the terms approved by his lieutenant must be referred back
to him. They were never finally formulated. All through 1587, through the
first months of 1588, the thing dragged on; and then Elizabeth declared
that the surrender of the Cautionary Towns, always hitherto treated as the
necessary first step, was only to be thought of as the last step--a quite
impossible condition from the Spanish point of view. But by the time the
negotiations had thoroughly broken down, a whole year had been practically
wasted by Spain. Taking on the other hand the unfavourable view--which
appears to have been that of almost every statesman and soldier of the day
--she engaged in a highly discreditable negotiation for a betrayal of the
Provinces by the surrender of the Cautionary Towns, in the hope of
obtaining with Philip a peace which would have rendered him infinitely more
dangerous than he actually was; being only saved from that disaster by
saner counsels and against her own will at the last moment.

[Sidenote: The Queen's Diplomacy]

From beginning to end, the facts are consistent with either view of her
character. If the second view be true, history affords no parallel to the
amazing good fortune which attended her; for her whole career was a
succession of apparently hopeless entanglements, each one leading to
inevitable disaster; yet from every one a loop-hole of escape was found.
If the first be true, history again affords no parallel to the invariable
success which attended a series of deceptions practised alike upon her
servants, her friends, and her enemies. But whichever solution we accept--
and there is no third alternative--her personal policy remains one of pure
political opportunism, either very short sighted or singularly long
sighted, without a particle of the idealism which, mixed though it might be
with other motives, was so emphatically characteristic of half her
ministers and more than half her subjects. Towards the cause of the
Reformation, as such, she was entirely cold; to her, its adherents in the
Netherlands and in France were merely pieces on the political
chess-board. It is an odd paradox that such a ruler should have won and
maintained among her own people a personal popularity amounting to
enthusiasm, which was a very strong force in binding the nation together.

[Sidenote: 1587-88 French affairs]

While Elizabeth was keeping up the diplomatic game above described, she was
very materially aided by the state of affairs in France, where what is
known as the "War of the three Henries"--Henry III., Henry of Navarre, and
Henry of Guise--was in full progress. The King, professing to support the
League, was in fact doing his best to play into the hands of his nominal
opponent, Navarre, and to paralyse his nominal adherent, Guise, who had
Philip of Spain behind him. Philip, aware of this ambiguous position--as
also was Elizabeth--found himself unable to trust to France for support, or
absolutely to repudiate her demands to share in the Armada expedition
viewed as a Catholic Crusade. The position became acute when Guise,
ignoring the King's orders, entered Paris in force, receiving a general
ovation while the King himself had to fly, on the "Day of the Barricades"
(April-May, 1588). There was a nominal reconciliation in July; but it was
then already too late for the Guises to hold the French ports at the
service of the Spaniard.

Neither from Scotland nor in Ireland was any danger to be apprehended in
the coming struggle. We turn again to the story of the Armada itself.

[Sidenote: 1587 Preparations for the Armada]

Great as was the damage wrought by Drake, it was energetically repaired,
and Philip warned Parma to be ready for the arrival of the Armada in
September 1587. The plan of operations was for Santa Cruz to sail up the
Channel, dominate the passage from the Low Countries, and so enable Parma,
heavily reinforced by the soldiers on board the great fleet, to pour his
troops into England. Philip's plans were quite unaffected by the talk of
peace; but the English were justified in their confidence that the Armada
would not be ready to sail in time. When it was ready, Santa Cruz
pronounced that the storms to be looked for so late in the year would make
the voyage itself dangerous, and would render it impossible to keep the
necessary control of the water-ways: which was what the English authorities
had calculated on.

[Sidenote: 1588 Plans of Campaign]

There was indeed a very considerable risk in deferring the mobilisation of
the English fleet; for in January, Philip resolved to delay no longer, and
if the Armada had sailed then there was no force ready to meet it. But the
death of Santa Cruz at the critical moment destroyed the plan. In February
the English were in trim to take the seas; the opportunity was lost, and
another was not given. If the seamen had been allowed their own way, the
Lord Admiral Howard of Effingham, Drake, Hawkins, Frobisher and the other
captains would have sailed for the Spanish coast; nor can it be doubted
that they would then have done completely what Drake and his squadron had
done only in part a year before, and practically have annihilated the
Armada in its own ports; but other counsels prevailed, to their great
chagrin. The idea that the Spanish fleet might evade the English, if the
latter left the Channel, and make the invasion a _fait accompli_
without a sea-fight at all, was too alarming to the landsmen. Whether Parma
would ever have taken the enormous risk of throwing himself into a hostile
country, with an unfought fleet hastening to cut him off from his base, is
another matter. It is noteworthy however that even the seamen do not seem
to have realised the enormous risk involved in such an undertaking. They
knew that a small squadron was quite sufficient to frustrate any invasion
that Parma without the Armada could contemplate. But when the Armada was
already in helpless and headlong flight round Scotland, Drake [Footnote:
Laughton, S. P. _Armada,_ ii., pp. 99, 100: Drake to Walsingham.]
still regarded an attempted coup by Parma as a danger to be seriously
guarded against.

[Sidenote: The opposing forces]

We are in the habit of looking upon the destruction of the Armada as a feat
verging on the miraculous. Yet it is apparent that every one of the great
sailors anticipated a complete victory with entire confidence. They knew
that they understood the conditions of naval warfare, and that the enemy
did not. Although, on paper, the Spaniard had all the best of it, he never
really had a chance, for the plain reason that his fleet was utterly
outclassed. The Armada put to sea with about 130 ships. Of these, 62 were
of over 300 tons burden. The whole English fleet is given as 197 ships
including the 34 of the Royal Navy. Of these, only 49 exceeded 200
tons. The average [Footnote: Laughton, i., p. li.] tonnage of the 62 was
quite double that of the 49; and the aggregate of the 130 was approximately
double that of the 197. The recorded lists and estimates also give the
Spaniards double the number of men and guns. Many of the great Spaniards
were little more than transports; on the other hand, half the English ships
were too small for effective fighting. But there is little doubt that the
English fighting ships were much better armed relatively to their size;
that the guns were better, and infinitely better handled. The ships were in
fact far superior as fighting machines, because the two fleets were built,
armed, and manned, on two diametrically opposed theories of naval tactics:
which may be summed up by saying that the Spaniards relied upon mass, and
hand to hand fighting, the English on mobility and artillery; applying
unconsciously by sea the principles by which the great land-tacticians of
the past, Edward III. and Henry V., had shattered greatly superior hosts at
Crecy and Agincourt. The finer comprehension of naval strategy on the part
of the English admirals had been made of no account by the ignorance of the
supreme authority, which detained the fleet on the coast: but their
tactical developments were unhampered. For the first time on a large scale
the accustomed rules were about to be discarded.

[Sidenote: The New Tactics]

Hitherto, naval battles had been assimilated to land battles; ships had
attacked, moving abreast in military formation; they had grappled and
fought for possession of each other's decks; the work had been soldiers'
work, and for that the Spaniards were equipped, carrying two soldiers for
every mariner. But this was to be mariners' work, and on the English ships
the complement of soldiers was quite insignificant in comparison to that of
mariners and gunners. The English ships were handled by seamen, many of the
Spanish by landsmen. The English ships answered the helm and could go
"about," with a rapidity which amazed the Spaniards. They were constructed
to deliver broadsides, which the Spaniards could not do. Their guns could
be discharged three times or more to the Spaniards once. The Spaniards,
with a dim perception of the English point of superiority, tried to nullify
it by futile firing at the rigging, which was for the most part a pure
waste of shot; the English pounded the Spanish hulls and their crowded
decks; systematically refusing to come to close quarters, so that the enemy
never had a chance of utilising his soldiery. With ships built and rigged
for speed and for manoeuvring, with men who had learnt how to handle them
in many a storm, with captains whose seamanship was trusted by every
sailor, the Englishmen repeatedly secured the weather-gauge, joining battle
or refusing it as they liked; and the final result was never seriously in
doubt.

[Sidenote: Defective arrangements]

From the month of March then, the departure of the Spanish fleet was
delayed only by its own unreadiness to sail, due in part to the obvious
incompetence of the Duke of Medina Sidonia who had been appointed, very
much against his own will, to the command; for he was absolutely devoid of
any naval or even military experience. The English ships were in admirable
order; [Footnote: Laughton, i., p. 79: Howard to Burghley, Feb. 21.] but
the great trouble with them was in the commissariat. The emergency was
quite without parallel, and the system, such as there was, was quite
inadequate to cope with it. To maintain, month after month, supplies for so
large an armament, was next to impossible; and to this much more than to
the "niggardliness" of the Queen, [Footnote: Laughton, i., pp. lvii ff.
Froude's latitude of paraphrase makes his handling of the evidence
peculiarly inconclusive.] must be attributed the vehement complaints of
deficiencies. Sanitary conditions also were not at all generally
understood, and it was dangerous to keep crews constantly on board. On the
whole, the denunciations of the authorities were not different from those
to which they always have been, and probably always will be, subjected.
Individuals did their best to work a defective organisation with only
partial success. And there was very much the same tale from the Spanish as
from the English; the notable difference lay mainly in the great
superiority of the latter in the purely naval department of administration.

[Sidenote: The Land forces]

As concerns the adequacy of the arrangements on land for resisting the
invader if he succeeded in reaching the shore, it is difficult to speak.
It was almost a matter of course that Leicester was given the command,
though he had no military talent; but he had at his elbow the one
thoroughly experienced captain available, Sir John Norreys. A great camp
was formed at Tilbury to cover London; the raw country musters were in
readiness every where to fly to arms when the signal beacons should flash
their message over the land. How much resistance they could have offered to
Parma's veterans, none can tell. But it may safely be laid down, that while
the English fleet was in being, the invaders' chances of ultimate success
were infinitesimal, but that if the fleet had been wiped out they would
have been, at least _prima facie_, exceedingly promising. As
Leicester, not Norreys, was in command of the army, so Howard of Effingham,
not Drake, was in command of the fleet. But of Effingham we know that he
was not himself ignorant of naval matters, and that he had no notion of
ignoring the judgment of the colleagues who were technically his
subordinates. With Drake as Vice-Admiral and Hawkins as Rear-Admiral, there
was no danger of inefficient command. The naval appointments were in every
way admirable; and even the noblemen and gentlemen who were captains of so
many of the ships knew better than to overrule the practical command of
their mariner-subordinates. On May 20th the Armada sailed from Lisbon, but
was scattered by a storm in the second week of June, reassembling at
Corunna--when Medina Sidonia vainly urged that the expedition should be
given up. Some of the ships had proceeded within ken of the Scillies,
causing considerable excitement; but these too put back to Corunna, whence
the whole armament made its final start on July 12th.

At the end of May, the English fleet was collected at Plymouth, a squadron
with Seymour and the veteran Wynter being left on guard at the East end of
the Channel. The admirals were again anxious to seek out the Spaniards and
give account of them in their own seas, but supplies were short, and Howard
was again definitely ordered to remain on the coast. It is however inferred
by some authorities [Footnote: Corbetts ii., pp. 179-181.] that Drake and
Howard did make a dash for the Spanish coast, about July 7th, while the
Armada was at Corunna, in the hope of striking a swift and decisive blow;
but that the favouring wind was lost, a South-Wester set in, and they had
to return to the Channel, being insufficiently provisioned to remain at a
distance from home.

Howard then, with Drake and Hawkins and the major part of the English fleet
was lying in Plymouth, getting stores aboard as fast as might be, while
Seymour and Sir William Wynter with their squadron were lying at the East
end of the Channel, when on July 19th the news came that the Armada had
been sighted off the Lizard, coming up with a favouring wind. There was
nothing for it but to work out of Plymouth Sound in the teeth of the
wind. When the Spaniards came in view on the 20th (Saturday) the move had
been accomplished. In the night, the English passed out to sea, across the
Spanish front, and so in the morning found themselves to windward and
attacked--as it would seem, for the first time in naval warfare, in
"line-ahead" formation, pouring successive broadsides into the enemy's
"weathermost" ship. This action lasted little more than two hours. Not many
of the Spaniards were actually engaged, but the working effect of the new
tactics was tested, Admiral Recalde's ship was crippled, some others had
suffered from a very severe fire very inadequately returned; incidentally
too, one great galleon had been almost blown to pieces by an accident, and
the ship of Valdez was disabled through collision. The Duke of Medina
Sidonia left her to her fate, and she surrendered to Drake early next
morning, the two fleets in the meantime having proceeded up Channel. Drake
ought to have led the pursuit during the night, and by not doing so caused
some confusion and delay-also, it would seem much indignation on the part
especially of Frobisher; [Footnote: Laughton, ii., pp. 101 ff.] but his
conduct is capable of legitimate if not complete justification. [Footnote:
Corbett, ii., pp. 231 ff.]

[Sidenote: The fight off Portland, July 23]

In consequence however, the English were unable to form for attack--though
the half-blown-up ship, the _San Salvador_, fell into their hands--
till late on the next day, when they were foiled by the falling of a
calm. When the breeze got up again on Tuesday, the Spaniards were to
windward, off Portland, and challenged an engagement. In manoeuvring to
recover the weather-gauge, Frobisher, with some other vessels, was for a
time cut off, and fought a very valiant fight, till a change in the wind
enabled them to extricate themselves, and there was more sharp fighting in
which the Spaniards suffered most. Neither side however could claim a
victory. But it was seen that much more would have been effected had the
Armada been less systematically organised, and the English more so. Before
the next general engagement, the defect had been remedied by the
distribution of the fleet into four divisions, under Howard, Drake,
Hawkins, and Frobisher respectively.

[Sidenote: The fight off the Isle of Wight, July 25]

It was supposed to be the intention of the Armada [Footnote: Corbett, ii.,
228. This was no doubt the recommendation of Recalde and others. But it was
in the teeth of Philip's instructions. In any case however, it was what the
English expected, and their action was based on that hypothesis.] to secure
the station at the Isle of Wight and Portsmouth; and it was to frustrate
this object that the third battle was fought on Thursday. In the interval,
Howard had only worried the enemy, being in need of fresh supplies of
ammunition which were now arriving. On the Thursday, the fluctuating airs
again forced the English to manoeuvre for the weather gauge, in order to
attack. The brunt of the resulting engagement was borne by Frobisher and
Howard, who occupied the enemy and were very thoroughly occupied
themselves; until the Armada, which had not in appearance been getting the
worst of it, went about and sailed off up Channel in good order. The
explanation would appear to be that the Spaniard found himself suddenly
threatened with a crushing flank attack [Footnote: Corbett, ii., p. 254.
The explanation is Mr. Corbett's conjecture.] by the combined squadrons of
Drake and Hawkins, which would have driven him upon the banks known as the
"Owers"; and to escape destruction, he had no alternative but to give up
the design on Portsmouth, if he had ever entertained it, and continue his
unimpeded course up Channel. To fight where he was had become impossible.
Thus, although the comparative injury to his fleet was not very great, the
action was a very decisive victory for the English. The Spaniards had to
revert to the desperate plan of a junction with Parma, instead of securing
a station in the Channel.

[Sidenote: Effects on the fleets]

Although strategically a great point was secured by this third engagement,
the ostensible strength of the Spanish fleet remained virtually unaltered,
and the English captains were evidently disappointed at having achieved no
more marked results. Of course, on the theory that the odds were,
professionally speaking, all in favour of the Armada, they had done
exceedingly well; but they were fighting under the perfectly correct
impression that the odds were in their own favour, and yet they had done no
signal injury. In fact however they had accomplished a good deal more than
appears on the surface. Their losses were far short of 100 men all told;
their ships were intact; the spirit of the fleet had been tested; and they
had already learnt and remedied the defect in their organisation at the
start. On the other hand, the Armada had lost three ships, several more had
suffered so severely as to be useless for further action, its ammunition
was running short, some hundreds of men had been killed or wounded, and the
whole fleet had realised that in manoeuvring capacity it was completely
outclassed, so that its _morale_ was failing. Already it felt itself
fighting a losing battle. Whereas, when the Isle of Wight was left behind,
the English were more confident than ever that they themselves were
fighting to win.

[Sidenote: The Armada at Calais]

The Duke then made his course for Dunkirk, sending urgent messages to Parma
to come out and help him: which it was not possible for Parma to do. On
Saturday evening, without any further fighting, the Armada anchored in
Calais Roads. The same evening, Howard was joined by Seymour's squadron,
and for the first time his fleet was at its full strength. It now became
his great object to force the decisive engagement before Medina Sidonia and
Parma at Dunkirk could effect a junction. To this end it was needful to
dislodge the Armada from its anchorage. Wind and tide both favouring, on
Sunday night eight fire-ships were sent drifting on to the Spanish fleet.
A panic arose; the Spaniards cut their cables and made for the open, to
escape the danger. They were to suffer later on for this loss of their
anchors. Now, when the morning broke, the great fleet which had
successfully preserved its formation hitherto, was scattered along a
dangerous coast, with the entire English force lying to windward within
striking distance.

[Sidenote: The battle off Gravelines, July 29]

For the Duke, the first thing to do was to recover his formation; for the
English, to prevent his doing so. Howard should have led the attack, but
turned aside to make sure of a crippled galleon. Drake, followed by
Hawkins, Frobisher, and Seymour, sailed down on the Spaniards, and the last
decisive engagement began. Medina Sidonia was never able to bring more than
half his ships into action. He gained some time, by Howard's aberration,
but in the course of the day the entire English fleet was engaging him. The
ships and the captains, however, who were able to rejoin him, were the best
in the Armada, and they made a magnificent and desperate struggle. Raked
with broadside after broadside they fought on, drifting into ever more
dangerous proximity to the shoals, their hulls riddled, their decks
charnel-houses; resolved to sink rather than strike; while the English
poured in a ceaseless storm of shot at close range but always evaded the
one danger, of being grappled and boarded, the sole condition under which
the Spaniard could fight at an advantage. At last the English drew off;
partly because their ammunition, like the Spaniards', was all but
exhausted, except in Howard's squadron, the expenditure having been quite
unparalleled; partly because a fierce squall for a time provided them with
a new enemy which it took all their energies to meet. That squall was the
salvation of the Spaniards; when it cleared, they were already in full
flight to the North East.

[Sidenote: The Armada in flight]

The Armada was now to leeward of Dunkirk, and a junction with Parma had
been rendered impossible. On the following day indeed, it seemed that the
whole fleet was doomed to destruction on the shoals, when a change of wind
enabled them to make for the North Sea, the main part of the English fleet
following in pursuit, while Seymour's squadron, to his intense disgust, was
left to guard the Channel. But for the English shortage of ammunition,
which made it impossible to provoke another general engagement, half the
Armada might very well have fallen a prey to the pursuers; for it was a
fleet that knew itself hopelessly beaten; its morale was gone, its
ammunition was exhausted, its best crews were much more than decimated,
many of its vessels were hopelessly crippled. As it was, the English were
content to follow and watch while the Spaniards drove Northwards before a
stiff gale; giving up the chase on August 2nd, by which time it was evident
that the enemy had no course open to them but to attempt the passage round
the North of Scotland, and so to make for home by the Irish coast as best
they might; though later, the wind changing to the North created a passing
fear that they might return with it to Denmark, to refit.

[Sidenote: The End of the Armada]

In the whole series of actions, the English lost only about a hundred men
and one ship. Out of that great Armada which had sailed with the Papal
blessing to lower the insolent pride of heretic England, not more than half
the ships found their way back to Spain. Of the sixty or more that were
lost, nine [Footnote: Clowes, _Royal Navy_, i., p. 585.] only are
definitely accounted for in the actual fighting. Of the rest, nineteen are
recorded as wrecked on the Scottish or Irish coast: there must have been
many more. Of their crews, those whom the winds and the waves spared, the
Irish slew; and those who escaped the Irish, the English soldiery slew. Of
the fate of the remainder, one-fourth of the entire fleet, nothing is
known.

_Dominus flavit, et dissipati sunt._ The Lord blew and they were
scattered. Small wonder that the puritan spirit saw in that huge disaster
the direct intervention of the Almighty, smiting on behalf of His
People. Yet the winds and the seas had but given an awful completeness to
the already triumphant handiwork of the English Seamen. From first to last,
through all the fighting, till the desperate _sauve qui peut_ of the
battered and shattered foe across the Northern seas began, no particular
good fortune in the matter of wind and weather had favoured England. She
had won, against apparent odds, because her sons had found out on many a
venturous voyage how the great game of war by sea ought to be played; and
her enemy had not. She had won decisively. Philip might stiffen his pride
and boast that he could yet send forth fleets mightier than the lost
Armada. But on the day of the fight off Gravelines the doom of his power
was sealed; and the Empire of the Ocean passed from Spain to England.

CHAPTER XXV

ELIZABETH (x), 1588-98-BRITANNIA VICTRIX

[Sidenote: After the Armada]

The sceptre had passed. The world awoke suddenly to the truth of which
the great debacle was only the unexpected testimony. The Spanish People
were slow to realise the overwhelming fact--overwhelming, because for
the best part of a century at least they had accounted themselves the
nation favoured by Heaven, chosen for the crushing of the heathen and
the heretic, assured of victory. So, for a few years, had the English
thought of themselves; but with a difference; for their spirit was that
expressed in the later Puritan adage, "Trust in God and keep your
powder dry". The Spaniard had neglected to keep his powder dry. The
nation which observes both injunctions is tolerably certain to defeat
that which observes only one.

The sceptre had passed; but Spain would not acquiesce without a
struggle, and, in his slow fashion, Philip set himself to adapt to his
own navy the lesson taught by the fate of the Armada. England had won
the lead, but she was not to hold it unchallenged, though she did
maintain it convincingly. For her alertness did not leave her, and to
her had been transferred not the power only but also the enormous
prestige which Spain had hitherto enjoyed, and which counts for much in
every struggle where it is recognised on both sides.

But the re-organisation of the Spanish Navy was a matter of time. For
the moment, the result of the collision was absolutely to reverse the
hypothetical though not the actual position of the two countries. Spain
was reduced completely to the defensive. England no longer thought of
guarding herself, but only of smiting her foe--a theory of the mutual
relations on which, unofficially, the seamen had been acting for the
last decade.

If during the closing ten years of his life Philip's strongest desire
was to recover the lost supremacy, his energies were still divided by
his extreme anxiety to prevent the Bourbon succession in France; while
the conviction was proving day by day more irresistible that the
Protestant Netherlands would be lost for ever to Spain. Yet the eternal
series of abortive plots for restoring the old religion and placing
either Philip or a tool of Philip on the English throne went on; not in
fact ending till the death of Elizabeth joined England and Scotland
under a single crown.

[Sidenote: A new phase]

Politically the dramatic climax of Elizabeth's reign is the dispersion
of the Armada. The dragon has been fought and vanquished, and at this
point, the curtain ought to ring down and leave the audience to imagine
the Red-cross knight and his ladye-love living happy for ever
afterwards. But in history no climax is more than an incident; at the
most it is but the decisive entry on a new phase. The chain of
causation, of the interdependence of events, is continuous.

The moment of the Armada then may be regarded as the conclusion of a
phase. The work of the great statesmen, whose names are most intimately
associated with that of Elizabeth, was accomplished. They had kept
England united and at peace within her own borders through a long
period of recurring crises. They had so fostered the national spirit
and the national resources that she had finally proved herself a match
for the mightiest Power in Europe. They had achieved for her the
premier position upon the Ocean. They had defeated every attempt to
entice or to force her back to the Roman obedience. They had secured a
larger latitude of religious tolerance than prevailed in any other
State of Europe. These things they had definitely won, though there was
still need of keen brains, stout hearts, strong hands, and sturdy
consciences to hold them. They had been responsible for the planting
and watering. It was left mainly to others in the last years of
Elizabeth to assure the beginnings of the increase.

[Sidenote: 1588 The Death of Leicester]

Of the counsellors who had played a prominent part in Elizabeth's reign,
Nicholas Bacon had died in 1579. The rest still lived, but none of them
for long. The next to disappear was Leicester, who survived the
dispersion of the Armada by only a few weeks. So long as he had been an
aspirant to the hand of his royal mistress, he existed chiefly to
trouble the minds of statesmen--a piece of grit in the machinery; an
apparently quite worthless person After he had settled down into the
less ambiguous position of a mere personal favourite, with no chance of
satisfying swelling ambitions, he became a definite partisan of the
Walsingham school whose ideal lay in the advancement of protestantism
and antagonism to Spain. When not warped by the vain imaginings of his
earlier years, he would seem to have been a person of respectable
abilities, little decision of character, decently loyal; an ornamental
figurehead whose position enabled him to serve his friends; shallow;
neither dangerous, nor conspicuously incapable; not entirely deserving
of the extreme contempt which is usually poured upon him; but at best a
poor creature whose importance was wholly adventitious.

[Sidenote: France, 1588-89]

Of infinitely more consequence in its influence on the political
situation was the death on December 23rd, by the hands of assassins of
the Duke of Guise. The murder, planned by Henry III., deprived the
League of its head, and decisively forced the French King into the arms
of his Protestant heir. Nine months later (August 1589), Henry III. was
assassinated in turn, and Henry of Navarre laid claim to the crown, his
uncle Charles, Cardinal of Bourbon, being proclaimed King by the
Catholics. Hence in Philip's eyes a closer union than ever between
himself and the League--now headed by Mayenne, brother of the murdered
Guise--became imperative. A Huguenot king in France, a heretic queen in
England, and heretic rebels in the Netherlands, threatened a
combination which he was bound to try and paralyse. The attempt went
far to thwart itself; for numbers of the French Catholics were ready to
go a long way towards a compromise with Henry of Navarre when they felt
the alternative to be a Spanish domination; while that astute prince
hailed the opportunity which enabled him to claim the role of patriot,
and to point to the Leaguers as the clients of the foreigner. On the
other hand, Philip's energies during the remainder of his life were
largely absorbed in futile efforts to redress on French soil the loss
of Spanish supremacy on the seas.

[Sidenote: 1588 England aggressive]

Under the new conditions, the antagonism between the two schools of
English statesmanship takes a slightly altered form. Walsingham among
the ministers, Drake among the seamen, had always believed fervently in
the theory of breaking the power of Spain to pieces. Elizabeth and (in
the main) Burghley had clung to the theory of gradually making England
so secure and so formidable that Spain and England alike should
ultimately recognise a condition of amicable equality as the best for
both. Spain would then become amenable to reason in matters
ecclesiastical and commercial, the old intercourse would be restored in
its fulness, and general prosperity would result. Against their wishes,
matters had been by the inevitable trend of events forced to the
arbitrament of battle. But even now, terrible as the disaster of the
Armada had been, Spain was by no means shattered; in fact, though the
English nation was more than jubilant, the seamen themselves were
evidently disappointed that they had not in the encounter inflicted
more complete ruin upon their rivals. They had found the Spaniards less
easy to dispose of than they had anticipated.

[Sidenote: Alternative Naval policies]

The victory however had been won by the great captains of the
aggressive party; it was followed almost immediately by the revolt of
Henry III. from the Guise domination; all the conditions were in favour
of an offensive campaign. For the time being, a peace-party had ceased
to exist. The only question now was, how to strike. And at this stage
we see the two rival theories of naval policy in war time beginning to
be formulated, since naval policy on a large scale was only brought
into being by the development of an oceanic field for it to work in. Of
the one policy which has constantly prevailed with our great English
admirals, that of making the destruction of the enemy's fighting fleet
the primary object, with mere commerce-destroying secondary, Drake was
in practice the father; of the other, that of concentrating on his
trade-routes and menacing his commerce, not unusually favoured by
France in her wars with England, John Hawkins was the advocate.

For the moment Drake, being undoubtedly the hero of the hour, appeared
to triumph. His was the scheme of operations approved. But before it
could be put in practice, its essential features were distorted;
through no fault of his the plan failed of its full effect; disfavour
followed; and war on Spanish commerce again became the prevalent policy.
Its attractions for adventurers are obvious; and its inferiority as a
method of transforming superiority into supremacy was not yet
recognised.

[Sidenote: Don Antonio]

Drake's actual design, however, was not on this occasion a precise
exemplification of the theory just associated with his name, although
its failure brought the supporters of the opposing school to the front.
The Armada disaster had already given the English for the time complete
command of the sea, and his intention was to strike a crippling blow at
the Spanish power by establishing the Pretender Don Antonio on the
throne of Portugal and in control of the Azores. Ever since Philip had
grasped the Portuguese crown in 1580, Elizabeth had played
diplomatically with the notion of helping Don Antonio to challenge his
title by force of arms, and Walsingham would have found a grim joy in
turning the play into earnest. But Antonio could count upon no support
worth mentioning from other quarters; Elizabeth's help had been in
quality the same as and in quantity less than she had doled out to
Huguenots and Netherlanders. The one real attempt in his favour,
wherein there had hardly been a pretence of English participation, had
been crushed by Santa Cruz at the naval battle of Terceira in the
Azores in 1583. But what had been impracticable before the Armada was
so no longer. With the command of the sea, Portugal might now be won;
the loss in itself would be a grievous weakening to Spain; and in
alliance with England. Portugal would be to her neighbour very much
what Scotland would have been to England had Mary been restored--and
accepted--by Spanish aid.

[Sidenote: Plan of the Lisbon Expedition, 1588-89] Such was Drake's
idea, which was to be carried out after the method beloved by the Queen.
It was not to be exactly a Government affair, but the enterprise of a
Company, in which her Majesty was to hold shares, providing some money
and half a dozen ships from her fleet, and various guarantees. It was
to be a joint naval and military venture, with Drake and Norreys
respectively in command of the two arms, with a free hand in the
conduct of operations. All through the winter of 1588 Drake and Norreys
were hard at work preparing this counter-Armada; but as spring came on,
the Queen's passion for tying her servants' hands developed on the
familiar lines. It was not till April that Drake succeeded in
definitely starting, and he went with a very fine armament; but with
only a month's commissariat, without the siege train promised, and
fettered by instructions wholly inconsistent with his own plan of
campaign.

The Spaniards acquired what purported to be a statement of the terms
agreed on between Elizabeth and Don Antonio, under which Portugal, with
the Azores, was to be reduced to a province of England. It does not
appear however that this document was based upon facts; and the
instructions [Footnote: _Cf._ Corbett, ii, ] issued to the
expedition are quite inconsistent with the whole idea. The attempt to
establish Antonio in Portugal was only to be made if the conditions
were favourable; if it succeeded, the English were then to retire; if
it were dropped, they were to make for the Azores. But in any case they
were to begin by attacking the shipping in Biscayan and other Northern
harbours of Spain--an entirely superfluous proceeding, as Spain for the
time had no naval force which could give trouble.

[Sidenote: 1589 May: Corunna and Peniche]

Consequently the expedition--which was accompanied by Elizabeth's
latest favourite, the young Earl of Essex, a runaway and from his
Mistress--instead of making straight for Lisbon attacked Corunna. The
troops were landed, the town stormed and sacked, and the shipping
destroyed, the Spaniards being driven into the citadel. Immediate
departure being prevented by the wind, after nearly a week's operations
a fierce but unsuccessful attempt was made to storm the citadel also.
This however was followed by a brilliant action, at the Bridge of El
Burgo, in which Norreys decisively defeated a relieving force of
greatly superior numbers, prodigies of valour being performed during
the battle. But the capture of the citadel was unimportant; and the
wind improving, the expedition proceeded--with many prizes and much
spoil--to operate against Lisbon. On the way, for some not very
intelligible reason, Peniche, some fifty miles from Lisbon, was stormed
by the soldiers--as it would seem, against Drake's will. The whole army
was here disembarked, to operate against Lisbon by land, while the
fleet proceeded to the mouth of the Tagus.

[Sidenote: Failure at Lisbon]

Drake at once captured Cascaes, which commanded the entry. But he could
do nothing more till the army was ready to co-operate. Norreys arrived
presently: but he had no siege train, and resolved that unless the
Portuguese rose, as Don Antonio had promised, the attempt on Lisbon
must be abandoned. It is practically certain that had the attack been
made, the resolute commandant and his slender garrison would have been
easily overpowered, the mob favouring the assailants. But Norreys was
unaware of the facts; the partisans of Don Antonio did not rise; and
the English fell back to Cascaes to reimbark; having destroyed a
considerable quantity of stores, and defied Spain on her own soil with
a handful of men, but otherwise having failed to accomplish the purpose
of the expedition. Drake however also captured a great convoy of store-
ships. Contrary winds prevented the fleet from proceeding to the Azores,
and nothing more was accomplished but the destruction of Vigo, while in
the subsequent storms a number of ships were damaged or lost. The
business was a failure, though it had given convincing proof that even
in Spanish territory--much more on the seas--Spain was incapable of
taking the offensive. The expedition found its way home about the end
of June; a few weeks before the assassination of the French King, which
transformed the Prince of Navarre into Henry IV., a legitimate monarch
fighting for his throne against a threatened alien domination.

The ships had suffered; the booty was small; the crews and the troops
had been wasted by sickness and sharp fighting. Consequently Drake and
Drake's policy were generally discredited. It had in fact been quite
clearly demonstrated that Spain was on her knees, and that nothing but
inadequate armament and deficient supplies had prevented the admiral
from reducing her to a condition still more desperate. But
superficially, he had failed.

[Sidenote: Policies and Persons]

Now the policy of the forward school, of which Drake was the leading
example and Walter Raleigh was to be the exponent both with sword and
pen, was twofold; to prostrate Spain and her naval power, and to plant
English colonies in direct competition with and open antagonism to the
colonies of Spain. But the men who had grasped the whole conception
were few. Walsingham, the one among the elder statesmen who was in
touch with these ideas, had but a few months to live. The ordinary idea
of the ordinary Anti-Spaniard was to damage Spain as much as possible;
but the means to that end which he recognised lay mainly, if not
entirely, in the raiding of Spanish commerce and the interception of
treasure-fleets. This was avowedly the view of John Hawkins, which
naturally appealed to the Adventurers of the day.

On the other side was the school of Burghley himself, and of Elizabeth;
who had never wished, and did not now wish, to see Spain prostrate, and
had never been without hopes of converting the rivalry into an alliance,
though not averse to the bringing of severe pressure to bear for the
recovery of commercial privileges and the suppression of political
antagonism. Burghley had not by any means always approved of
Elizabeth's methods; when it was only by those tortuous wiles that
peace could be preserved he had joined with Walsingham and Leicester in
counselling war; but if war could be with honour avoided, it had been
his constant desire to avoid it; while he had consistently and
honourably opposed Drake, condemned his buccaneering methods, and
refused to profit by his daring ventures. Burghley's second son Robert,
destined to be the old statesman's successor, already establishing his
position, was the agent of his father's policy. The Queen's latest
favourite, the young Earl of Essex--a son-in-law of Walsingham, and
stepson of Leicester--was no statesman in fact, though he fancied
himself one. His ambition was unlimited; and while, as an anti-Spaniard,
he was a leader of the party opposed to the Cecils, he was not less
hotly jealous of his rival within that party, Walter Raleigh (at an
earlier period, and also afterwards, associated with the Cecils), whose
large conceptions he could hardly appreciate. Finally the Queen herself,
with the same political ideals as her old minister, had still never
been able to resist the temptation of the profits accruing from the
unauthorised raiding policy--a policy which dealt no blows from which
it was impossible for Spain to recover, while it kept her in too
bruised a condition to have any prospect of fighting again at an
advantage.

It was Elizabeth who had ensured the failure of Drake's expedition, for
which Drake himself was made responsible. Drake's policy was in
consequence driven off the field, which was held by that of Essex and
Hawkins--to which, as a policy, the Cecils were not vehemently opposed,
while it satisfied the aroused bellicosity of the nation. Private
enterprise was left to struggle with schemes of colonisation; and Spain
held her trans-oceanic possessions.

[Sidenote: France, 1589-93]

But Spain's activity was crippled, her recuperation checked; and thus,
indirectly, as well as with some direct assistance from England, Henry
IV was enabled more than to hold his own in France, until in 1593, by
accepting the Mass, he definitely won over to his side all but the
extreme supporters of the League: from which time his ultimate triumph
and that of at least limited toleration in France was secured: since
Alexander of Parma, the one man whose military genius was more than a
match for that of Henry, died in 1592.

[Sidenote: 1590 Death of Walsingham]

Here however we are anticipating. From the summer of 1589, Drake drops
into the background. How matters might have gone if Walsingham or even
Leicester had lived and retained their influence, it is not easy to
say; both were staunch supporters of the admiral. But Leicester was
already dead; and though the Queen had full confidence in the Secretary,
she never liked him. Already he was practically in retirement; and in
the following April he too died. With him, a very genuine puritanism
and a determined antagonism to Spain had always been first principles.
No man had expressed himself more openly in Council or more bitterly in
private correspondence in condemnation of the tricks and the falsehoods
which constituted--with a success which cannot be denied--the stock in
trade of the Queen's diplomacy. He repeatedly risked favour and
position by his outspokenness. His own policy and conduct had at all
times been conducted in accordance with a standard of morals and of
honour which was none the less strict though it does not always command
sympathy. To Mary Stewart he was a relentless enemy. He had no
compunctions in his system of espionage, and in his employment of
traitors and of the _agent provocateur._ He, more than anyone else,
was probably responsible for the extensive and extended application of
torture as a means to extract information. These, in his eyes, were
methods without which it was impossible to fight the enemy who must be
fought at any cost. He was ready, even eager, to join battle openly
with Spain in the cause of the Religion, which to him was a reality,
while to Elizabeth, if not also to Burghley, it was only a political
factor which it annoyed her to be obliged to recognise. And of his high
personal integrity, the final proof is that when he died, he left means
insufficient to provide a decent funeral. If his mantle may be said to
have fallen on anyone, it was on Walter Raleigh; and Raleigh was not of
the Council, while his favour with the Queen was at best an extremely
fluctuating quantity.

[Sidenote: Operations in 1590]

It was not Drake then, but Hawkins and Frobisher who in 1590 commanded
the armaments sent out to Spanish waters; with the primary intention of
intercepting the annual convoy of treasure-ships. Disappointment was
again in store, for the Spaniards had news of the expedition, the
treasure-fleet did not sail, and the admirals returned home without
spoils. Not, however, without hurting the enemy; for Spanish finance
was dependent on the arrival of the bullion, Philip was crippled for
want of it, and for the same reason Parma was almost paralysed. The
Huguenot cause was advanced in France by Henry's victory at Ivry. In
spite of his difficulties, however, Parma prevented the King from
capturing Paris and so completing his triumph; but, with his resources
so exhausted, even his genius was unable to accomplish more.

In the same year the splendid qualities developed by English seamen
were illustrated by a valiant fight, in which twelve Spanish ships of
war attacked a flotilla of ten English merchantmen, who fought so
stubbornly that after six hours of conflict the Spaniards drew off,
fairly defeated; the English having lost neither a ship nor a man.

[Sidenote: 1591 The "Revenge"]

In the meantime, however, Philip was making strenuous efforts to adapt
his navy to the conditions of maritime warfare introduced by the
English. In Havana, ships were being built of a greatly improved
construction for fighting and manoeuvring, and the Spanish yards were
busy. So when in 1591 a fleet sailed from England under Lord Thomas
Howard [Footnote: Son of the Duke of Norfolk (executed in 1572) by his
second wife; and half-brother of the Earl of Arundel, who died in the
Tower in 1589.] and Richard Grenville, with much the same intent as
that of Hawkins and Frobisher in 1590, they found themselves no longer
in possession of the same complete command of the seas. Their squadron
was a comparatively small one, including only six regular fighting
ships; and as they lay in the Azores, in waiting for the treasure-fleet,
tidings reached them that an armada of fifty-three vessels was hard at
hand on its way to convoy that fleet. Howard put to sea at once,
avoiding an action; but Grenville on the _Revenge_ [Footnote: The
_Revenge_ was Drake's ship in the Armada conflict.] of set purpose
allowed himself to be entangled in the Spanish fleet; and thereupon
ensued that great fight, that glorious folly, which has been told in
immortal prose and sung in immortal verse; in which for fifteen hours
Drake's favourite vessel did battle, almost unaided, with fifty-three
Spaniards. Not more splendid, not less irrational, were the great deeds
of the three hundred at Thermopylae, of the six hundred at Balaclava.
False moves in the game of war, all of them, from the scientific point
of view; objectless, unreasoning, without possibility of material gain
accruing; but for all that, deeds which for their sheer daring will
ring for ever in the ears of men; of which the bare memory is an
inspiration; whereof the fame in their own day roused the emulous
courage of every Spartan and of every Englishman, making them ready to
face any odds, and chilling the blood of their foes. Vain deeds, when
we count the cost and the tangible gain--but very far from vain when we
take into account the intangible moral effect.

Yet it was but the supreme example of that heroic spirit, shown times
and again, at Zutphen, at the Bridge of El Burgo, in countless fights
with Spaniards and with the elements, which in Elizabeth's day raised
England to be the first among the nations. A deed therefore to be dwelt
upon, if we would understand aright the history of those times, in
which the historian must perforce discourse most frequently and at
greatest length on doings of a less inspiring order. The craft of the
statesman, the skill of the general, are the prominent factors in the
making of history; but the character, the types, of the men of whom
nations are constituted, are no less fundamental and vital.

[Sidenote: France, 1590-93]

In the meantime, the death in France of Henry IV.'s nominal rival, his
uncle the titular Charles X., had increased the difficulties of the
League, which was reduced to putting forward as its candidate the
Infanta Isabella, the daughter of Philip and his third wife Elizabeth
of Valois--whom also Philip destined as his nominee for the English
throne when he should overthrow the heretic Queen. This involved the
setting aside of the Salic law of succession, and an unmistakable
Spanish ascendancy, which no conceivable marriage could make
satisfactory to any one but Philip. Thus Elizabeth still found herself
compelled to give Henry material assistance, and the English contingent
before Rouen, which the French King was seeking to capture in the
latter part of 1591, was commanded by Essex. Again however Parma
intervened, compelling the siege to be raised: though his death a year
later left no commander of equal ability to oppose Henry.

[Sidenote: Operations of 1592-94]

During the next three years, 1592-94, no attacks were made on a large
scale. One was planned for the first year, to be commanded jointly by
Raleigh and Frobisher. But Raleigh was recalled; the men who had joined
his flag were indisposed to serve under Frobisher; the squadron divided,
and ultimately accomplished little beyond the capture of a single rich
prize. Nevertheless, the process of raiding Spanish commerce by
privateering ships or squadrons was carried on, with much injury to
Spanish trade, and collection of considerable spoils; the chief of the
raiders being perhaps the Earl of Cumberland, who never failed to
conduct at least one such expedition annually. But though Philip's
finances continued thereby to be materially crippled, he was not
prevented from carrying on the work of reorganising his navy; while
towards the end of 1593 he had secured more than one station at Blavet
and elsewhere on the coast of Brittany, where he hoped to establish an
advanced base from which he could constantly threaten the Channel and
Ireland. This scheme however was frustrated at the end of 1594 by a
successful joint attack of Frobisher by sea and Norreys by land on a
position at Crozon which threatened to dominate Brest; and by the
expulsion of the Spaniards from other points in that neighbourhood
where they had sought to plant themselves. Frobisher however died from
a wound he received in the fighting. The move was one that Raleigh had
advocated zealously; and it proved thoroughly effective.

Important as was this blow to Philip's naval aspirations, the political
situation was still more decisively affected during these three years
by the death of Parma in December 1592, Henry's acceptance of the Mass
in July 1593, and his consequent recognition by the bulk of the French
Catholics early in 1594: although the extremists of the League
continued their opposition to him, and their support of the Spanish
Infanta, a course which secured the maintenance of the alliance between
Henry and Elizabeth.

[Sidenote: 1589-94 A survey]

From 1589, when the English Queen had deliberately dislocated the plans
of Drake's Lisbon expedition, changing it from a great political stroke
into an unsatisfactory raid, till the closing months of 1594 when once
again a decisively damaging blow was dealt to Philip's naval schemes,
the war had given ample occasion for stirring deeds of valour and
brilliant feats of arms, but the scheme of operations throughout had
been narrow and shortsighted. Though the honours still lay unmistakably
with England, Spain had in fact been gaining ground, slowly remedying
those defects in her organisation which had been so glaringly exposed
by the breakdown of the Armada: and when Frobisher fell at Crozon, she
was more formidable than at any time since Medina Sidonia had sailed
from Corunna But besides the main open contest, Philip throughout these
years had been dallying after his old fashion with the factions outside
of England which might be looked to as possible instruments for shaking
the throne of Elizabeth.

These were to be found among the exiled English Catholics, in Scotland,
and in Ireland.

[Sidenote: Spain and the English Catholics]

With the Catholic exiles however, there was little to be done. Those
indeed who were closely associated with the Jesuits founded their hopes
of a Catholic restoration on Spanish dominion, with the Infanta
Isabella as Queen of England; but the fact by itself sufficed to keep
the bulk of the party cold if not antagonistic. The price was too high
to pay, for any but Parsons and his associates. English Catholics
looked by preference to the succession possibly of the Catholic
Stanleys of Derby [Footnote: See _Front_]--who unfortunately stood
aloof--or of either James of Scotland or his cousin Arabella
(representing the half-English Lennox Stewarts), both Protestants of
whose conversion hopes were maintained. Patriotism, Nationality, held
precedence over Religion: even although in 1593 fresh and harsh
measures against Catholics as well as Puritans were adopted by
Parliament. Under these conditions, plots for the removal of Elizabeth
by methods which would make all the lukewarm elements in England
actively hostile to Spain were not likely to receive encouragement from
Philip. A variety of such plots were in fact concocted and duly
revealed by informers or suspects under torture, and fathered on Philip
or his ministers; but in every case the evidence connecting them with
the Spaniards is of the weakest. Naturally, Essex and the war-party in
England made the most of these stories, in order to inflame public
opinion against Philip, and with no little success. Nevertheless,
whatever element of truth they may have contained, they are too flimsy
and unsubstantial to be seriously included in the indictments against
Philip's character-which are indeed sufficiently grave without
them. [Footnote: See Hume's _Treason and Plot,_ cc. iv. v., where
the evidence in a series of these plots is impartially set forth. The
most notable of the group is that of Lopez, who was executed in 1594.]

[Sidenote: Scottish Intrigues]

Scottish intrigues with Philip were equally abortive. James, on the
throne, played an unceasing game of chicane and double-dealing,
perpetually playing off parties and persons against each other with
that curious cunning which he designated "king-craft". The Catholic
nobles alternated between hopes of capturing him, or of ejecting him,
and fears of their own suppression. They tried to bargain with Philip,
on the hypothesis of effecting James's conversion and placing him on
the English throne; on the hypothesis of a Catholic restoration in
Scotland; for one brief interval, on the hypothesis of giving Philip a
free hand. But James had an ingenious trick of playing at friendship
with his Catholic lords and introducing himself into these
negotiations; whereas Philip had no idea of stirring a finger to help
James to the English succession: and the Scottish Catholic lords
themselves were by no means ready to relinquish the national aspiration
to seat a Scots king on the throne of England. So that while these
intrigues caused some perturbation in the English court, and led
Elizabeth to lecture her young kinsman and disciple with a fine show of
pained indignation, they never came within measurable distance of
definite action.

[Sidenote: Ireland, 1583-92]

Ireland however offered a more promising field of operations. For a
decade following the suppression of Desmond's rebellion, that country
had lain in a state of exhaustion. English "under-takers" had been
planted in the desolated and forfeited lands of Munster. In the North,
Tyrconnel was loyal--that is, was not disposed to rebellion; Tirlough
Lynagh, head of the O'Neills, was of a like mind; and Hugh O'Neill, the
successor to the Earldom of Tyrone, had been brought up in England, and
was a professed supporter of English rule: against which there was no
one to make head. Even the coming of the Armada, while creating some
nervousness, produced no disturbances, though the assistance given by a
chief here and there to ship-wrecked Spaniards brought them into
trouble. But this was the calm of exhaustion merely. The unvarying
impression produced by the Irish letters of the time is that Englishmen
regarded the native chiefs as a low type of savage, and the common folk
as a noxious kind of vermin; and it is painfully clear that the
standard of civilisation was of that debased type which must prevail
where the governing powers have habitually set the example of
distorting the first four commandments of the decalogue and ignoring
the other six. The normal attitude of the bulk of the native Irish and
Anglo-Irish was one of repressed hatred and veiled defiance towards the
English, ready to break out openly whenever an opportunity should seem
to present itself. That attitude would probably have been universal had
not some of the chiefs, like Ormonde, been convinced that even the
English system was preferable to the anarchy and strife of septs which
would result from a temporarily successful rebellion: finding in
friendly relations with the Government the best guarantee for the
security of their own position.

Masterful and capable men however like the old Kildare and Shan O'Neill
had demanded more. To Kildare the Henries had granted that more; Shan
had come near to securing it in despite of Elizabeth. Now an abler man
than either, Hugh O'Neill, Earl of Tyrone, dissatisfied with his
treatment at the hands of the English was making up his mind to renew
the contest.

[Sidenote: Tyrone, 1592-94]

Tyrone did not raise the standard of revolt. But in 1592-3, Tyrone, his
brother in law Hugh Roe O'Donnell, [Footnote: Hugh O'Donnell had been
trapped and held prisoner in Dublin as a hostage for Tyrconnell's good
behaviour; but succeeded in making his escape.] Tyrconnell's son, his
neighbours Maguire and O'Rourke, and the McWilliams or Burkes of
Connaught--dwellers in the parts furthest from the Pale--were in active
defiance of the Government. Tyrone was engaged in officially placating
or repressing or remonstrating with them, ostensibly doing his best to
serve the Queen; ready to hand over hostages, to present himself in
person to the Deputy Fitzwilliam and demonstrate his loyalty, or to
take the field against the rebels with the royal forces. The Deputy,
and the President of Connaught, had information that he was in fact in
collusion with the rebels, but none which could be brought home to him;
and the royal forces--amounting only to between four and five thousand
men--were as usual inadequate to doing more than march into disturbed
districts, accomplish some burnings and hangings, enjoy one or two
sharp skirmishes, and march out again. But by 1594 Tyrone and his
friends were in communication with Spain, and Philip was again
contemplating the expulsion of the English from Ireland as an effective
line of operation in his war with Elizabeth.

[Sidenote: 1595 Drake's last voyage]

By this time the Queen was waking up to the fact that the Spanish sea-
power was not diminishing but recovering: the attack on the Brittany
ports points to the revival of a more far-seeing naval policy; Drake
was returning to favour, and the younger Cecil was well-disposed
towards him. It was decided that he and old John Hawkins should revive
the past methods and conduct a grand attack on the Spanish Main and
Panama. As usual however, fluctuating orders from the Queen delayed the
start till some months after the intended date; the Plate fleet reached
its destination in safety; the Spaniards got wind of the expedition;
and when Drake and Hawkins at last put to sea they had instructions
calculated effectively to prevent their accomplishing anything like a
surprise. Porto Rico, the first main objective, had due warning, and so
was able to offer a successful resistance to the attack, energetically
as it was conducted. The death of Hawkins, who had grown too cautious
to work well with Drake, relieved the expedition of divided counsels;
but Drake had not realised that in the years of his inaction the
Spaniards had profited by the lessons he had taught them. Though he
sacked and burnt La Hacha, Santa Marta, and Nombre de Dios, the spoils
were small; the enemy, prepared for his coming, had secured the passes
through Darien to Panama, and it was found that there was no
possibility of forcing them. Then came the final disaster; Drake
himself was seized with dysentery, and on January 28th, 1598, the great
seaman died. He found in the Ocean his fitting grave: and the
expedition returned to England having failed to accomplish anything
noteworthy, though it had to fight a not unsuccessful battle with a
slightly superior fleet on the way home.

Six months before Drake sailed on his last voyage, Raleigh had gone on
a notable exploring expedition to the Orinoco; the forerunner of not a
few voyages in search of the fabled Eldorado. Beyond some extension of
geographical knowledge however, the venture was unfruitful.

[Sidenote: 1596 The Cadiz expedition]

Although Drake's expedition had been spoilt, his theories were once
more, in the main, in the ascendant; and in June 1598 a great attacking
force was again organised, with Cadiz for its principal objective. An
effective blow at Philip's navy was made all the more necessary at the
moment, because the Archduke Albert, now in command in the Netherlands,
had just succeeded in capturing Calais from the French. Howard of
Effingham again commanded as admiral, with Essex as general in chief, a
council which included Raleigh and Lord Thomas Howard, and a Dutch
contingent which was under the orders of the English chief. The
Spaniards had this time no suspicion of what was on foot. The harbour
of Cadiz was full of shipping; which included however a number of ships
of war in fighting trim. Thus it was not without a fierce conflict that
the English drove their way in. Two ships only were captured, and
transferred from the Spanish to the English navy, but numbers were sunk
or burnt. The exploit was a brilliant one, owing its success largely to
a change from the original plan of attack, for which that advocated by
Raleigh was substituted. Cadiz itself was stormed, captured, and put to
ransom; but the victors displayed what was in those days a singular and
notable restraint and courtesy in their treatment of the vanquished. In
spite, however, of the protests of Essex, who wished to remain in
occupation of Cadiz, Lord Howard was content with the heavy spoils
secured and the immense destruction wrought, and the expedition
returned home.

[Sidenote: Ireland, 1595-96]

Tyrone in the meantime was playing his difficult game in Ireland with
remarkable success. He consistently maintained his professions of
loyalty, though by now calling himself "The O'Neill," like Shan, he
fostered the belief that he was only waiting to declare himself anti-
English; he continued to evade action against the more open rebels; he
continued to correspond with Spain; and yet Sir John Norreys, now in
command of the army in Ireland, could not resist the belief that he
meant to be loyal and would be loyal and would make the other chiefs so,
if his assistance were loyally accepted and his position frankly
confirmed by the English. Whether such anticipations would have proved
true if he had been treated as Henry VII. treated Kildare, it is
impossible to say. But the Deputy Fitzwilliam, and his successor
Russell, regarded him as a traitor at heart, and persistently provided
him with palpable excuse for distrusting them [Footnote: Tyrone received
a letter from Philip, which he showed the Deputy, as a proof of the
tempting offers made to him and of his own loyalty, on condition that
it should neither be copied nor retained. But it was kept by the
English, and used by them to attack Philip, and others.] in turn. Under
such conditions, loyal or not at bottom, it was no part of the Earl's
policy to break with Philip, or on the other hand to commit himself too
deeply till Philip should be also irrevocably committed to rendering
real solid assistance.

So Norreys went on recommending conciliation, and Russell went on
opposing that policy, while Elizabeth persistently abstained alike from
effective conciliation and from the one practicable alternative policy
of placing a really strong organised and orderly garrison in the
country: maintaining instead only a few ill-paid ill-disciplined ill-
behaved troops who might on occasion meet the raw Irish levies but were
wholly unfitted to be the instruments of a firm government. And all the
time from every officer in Ireland arose the perpetual petition to be
recalled from service in a country where neither a soldier nor an
administrator could possibly escape lowering any reputation he might
have previously acquired. It was well for England that Drake's last
expedition demanded the entire attention of the Spanish Fleet; and that,
following thereon, the Cadiz expedition was even more destructive to
the prospects of the new Armada which Philip was still seeking to
organise, than Drake's former Cadiz expedition had proved itself to the
Great Armada in 1587. Tyrone was thereby baulked of Spanish help,
without which he would not plunge into such a rebellion as might
threaten seriously to embarrass Elizabeth and benefit Philip.

[Sidenote: 1596 The second Armada]

So matters stood in the summer of 1596. One quality however Philip
possessed with which Englishmen must sympathise; he never recognised
that he was beaten. Crushing as the blow at Cadiz was, the northern
ports were left alone, and there the laborious building up of a great
fleet was in steady progress. Philip was stirred to deal a
counterstroke, and late in October a huge new Armada of nearly a
hundred vessels sailed from Vigo Bay, its destination unknown save to
Philip, its very existence unrealised in England, where no one believed
that a Spanish fleet would put to sea so late in the year. The Irish
chiefs however had notice that an invading force was coming. But the
old story was repeated. The preparations had been thrown out of gear by
the disaster of the summer; all the provisions were incomplete; the
ships were hopelessly ill-found; and the fleet had hardly started when
a terrific storm fell on it and shattered it. Thirty or more of the
vessels were lost at sea; when the rest of the battered armament
struggled back to Ferrol, pestilence broke out, and the crews died and
deserted by hundreds if not by thousands. The stars in their courses
fought against Philip and ruined the second Armada--this time without
the help of hostile man.

[Sidenote: 1597 The Island Voyage, etc.]

This was followed again in the next summer by another English
expedition, known as the "Island Voyage," with Essex, Lord Thomas
Howard, and Raleigh in command; with a score of ships from the Royal
Navy, and a Dutch contingent as in the Cadiz expedition. [Footnote: The
soldiers wanted an army to attack Calais. Raleigh's insistence however
carried the day in favour of a naval blow. (Raleigh, _Opinion on the
Spanish Alarum_.)] The affair however was mismanaged. From the start,
there were adverse tempests. [Footnote: _S. P. Dom._ iv., p. 463.]
Corunna and Ferrol, which it was intended to attack, were found warned
and armed for defence; and the gales were unfavourable. The fleet made
for the Azores, and captured Fayal, Graciosa, and St. Michael's; but
the treasure-fleet by good fortune evaded the English and found safety
at Terceira. Raleigh and Essex quarrelled violently; and the fleet
returned home with little accomplished. It succeeded however in
weathering a storm which once more had made havoc of still another
Spanish Armada, which sought to seize the opportunity for making a raid
on Cornwall with a view to seizing and holding some port, to be used as
an advance post for operations in the Channel--a sufficiently wild
scheme at the best, with Essex's fleet returning almost on the heels of
the expedition.

The failure decided Tyrone that Spain was a thoroughly broken reed; and
he succeeded in making terms with the English Government [Footnote: _S.
P. Irish,_ vi., pp. 477-479.] that winter, if only with a view to
organising a more determined and independent rebellion in the near
future.

[Sidenote: 1598 Spain]

It is abundantly evident in this the last year of Philip's life that he
was beaten at every point, however his obstinate fanaticism might
refuse to admit it. His designs on the throne of France were foiled;
the negotiations were already far advanced for the Peace of Vervins
which was to set the French King free from the war. The prospect of
placing Isabella [Footnote: Philip was now arranging to bestow Flanders
upon her as an independent sovereignty.] on the English throne was more
visionary than ever. The Spanish party among the English Catholics were
growing more and more out of favour; pride in the prestige of English
arms, scorn that England should be dominated by a nation which could
not match her in open fight, strengthened the patriotic section. The
Scots would not stir a finger except to make their own monarch king of
the neighbouring country. The Pope himself had no desire to see Spain
so aggrandised as to be able to dictate to Christendom. The prospect of
the Netherlands being reduced to submission had all but vanished. As
for the maritime rivalry, all the Spanish efforts had been in vain. The
ships had been improved; the defence of the trade-routes had been
better organised. Several of the blows aimed by England had been more
or less abortive; but one at least had been staggering, and every
attempt at a counterstroke had ended in plain disaster. Moreover from
first to last the Spaniards, valiant as they often proved themselves,
had fought as beaten men, the English as assured victors; both alike
with a perfect conviction that the latter were certain to win against
any but overwhelming odds. Such a fight as that of the _Revenge,_
with the nationalities of the combatants reversed, was unimaginable.

Yet even in 1598 Philip and some of his ecclesiastical counsellors were
unconvinced, and a brief alarm was created when a Spanish flotilla
dashed up the Channel and made its way to Calais, not yet restored to
France. Completely unexpected as it was, however, English squadrons
were on the seas almost at a day's notice. Half the flotilla was lost
outside Calais, and immediately afterwards the Spanish ports were in a
ferment at the report that Cumberland was hovering off their own coast
--very sufficient evidence of the immense superiority of the English,
both in organisation and _morale._

[Sidenote: Death of Philip, Sept.]

In September, Elizabeth's great enemy breathed his last. He was not
exactly the monster of iniquity that he has been painted; not a
criminal for the love of criminality. He was a Tiberius rather than a
Nero; a morbid influence, not a devouring pestilence. A perfectly
sombre bigot; an example of what the Greeks would have called [Greek:
hubris] of a very exceptional kind, who believed devoutly in himself as
the instrument chosen by the Saints for the overthrow of heretics;
convinced that his aims and interests were favoured by Heaven, ranking
before those of the Papacy itself; without a qualm as to the
righteousness of all means he could adopt to further those aims. Save
in one slight instance, we seek in vain to find in him any sign of
human affections--tenderness, sympathy, generosity. Infinitely
laborious, his idea of government was to elaborate an enormous
machinery, of which every portion should be under his personal control;
eternally suspicious, he trusted no man, and kept the hands of his
servants tied and bound; immovably cautious, he always waited to strike
till he thought he could do so with overwhelming force, and he always
waited till the time to strike had passed--till his opponent had
crippled him by striking first. Forty years before, he was lord of the
New World, lord of the seas, lord of Spain, of half Italy, of the
Netherlands, and seemed destined to be lord of England, almost of
Europe. Elizabeth and Cecil had seen where lay the weakness of his
position; they had evaded, cajoled, finally had defied and triumphed
over him. When he sank to the grave, the lordship of the sea had passed,
the lordship of the Netherlands was passing, the lordship of the New
World was tottering. His overweening egotism had sucked the life-blood
of Spain. The Power which forty years before had threatened to dominate
the world was no better than a decrepit giant; the form still loomed
gigantic, but the substance was gripped with the chill paralysis
wherewith Philip had smitten it, since he had entered like a poisonous
blight upon his inheritance.

[Sidenote: Death of Burghley, Aug.]

Philip was seventy-one when he died. Six weeks earlier Lord Burghley,
seven years his senior, passed away, leaving Elizabeth with none beside
her of her own generation. For forty years too, he had been the Queen's
first minister. However we read the enigma of Elizabeth's apparent
frivolity, vacillation, trickery and success, he had been throughout
the one man with whose counsel she would not dispense, even when she
seemed to flout him. Essentially he was a master of compromise, of
balance; a devotee of moderation, of the _via media._ Hardly less
averse to war than his mistress, he would yet have preferred war to
some of the ignominious shifts by which she evaded it; for he had a
cool level-headed confidence in England's essential vitality and power
of weathering the storm, if it should burst, even at times when outside
observers imagined that that confidence was hurrying her to ruin. When
obliged to lean to one side or the other in religious controversy, he
adopted the cause of "his brethren in Christ" as Elizabeth dubbed them
with a sneer, because that was more compatible with his _via
media_ than the other: but he had none of Walsingham's puritanic
enthusiasm. His ideal for England was a prosperous respectability:
breaches of political propriety shocked him. He would take no share in
the profits of buccaneering exploits: but it was the same mental
quality which kept him from any zeal for Causes which might drag the
country into incalculable ventures. When it seemed to him that a
vigorous support of European Protestantism was the only alternative to
submission to Spain, he went with Walsingham, though Elizabeth found
her own alternative in spite of them both: but he did it reluctantly,
and always at bottom with the hope that Spain and England might yet
attain mutual amity. After the death of Nicholas Bacon in 1579 he
inclined more to believe in that possibility, and in proportion as the
war-party was strengthened by the Armada his antagonism to it became
the more marked. After his seventieth year his direct interference in
politics had become less; but his astute son, Robert Cecil, represented
him. All through his career, he was a consistent opportunist, using
without scruple all currently admissible tools, never missing the
chance of the half-loaf. The most industrious of men, a supremely
shrewd judge of character and motive, he was rarely--save in the case
of the Queen--misled by superficial appearances; though his own lack of
sentiment prevented him from fully appreciating the sentimental factor
in politics. Always at all risks he was loyal to Queen and Country; and
habitually, even at some risk, to servants and colleagues. If he does
not stand absolutely in the first rank of English statesmen, they are
yet few who stand above him.

CHAPTER XXVI

ELIZABETH (xi), 1598-1603-THE QUEEN'S LAST YEARS

[Sidenote: A new generation]

By Burghley's death, Elizabeth was left alone, reft of all her earlier
counsellors. Nicholas Bacon had died as far back as 1579, Leicester in
1588, Walsingham in 1590, her kinsmen Knollys and Hunsdon--less prominent,
but of sober weight--more recently. Except Howard of Effingham (created
Earl of Nottingham after the Cadiz expedition), Burghley was the last; and
their sombre antagonist of forty years had followed him in a few weeks. She
herself was sixty-five years old. The leading men at home and abroad--Henry
IV., Philip III., Robert Cecil, Raleigh, Essex, who was now only thirty--
were of a younger generation. Lonely but stubborn and indomitable as ever
she ruled still to the end.

Those last five years were troubled enough.

[Sidenote: 1598 Ireland]

We have seen that in Ireland Tyrone was resolved to place no more
dependence on Spanish aid; but it was equally clear that the Government as
constituted was quite unable to quell him. Norreys was now dead, and
Ormonde was in command of the Queen's army, such as it was. The English
garrison was quite incapable of vigorous aggression. In 1598 a few raw
levies were sent over, instead of the strong disciplined force without
which nothing could be effected. In the middle of August a force was
dispatched against Tyrone, who was beleaguering the Blackwater fort not far
from Armagh; and Tyrone inflicted on it a complete and disastrous defeat,
[Footnote: S. P. _Irish_, pp. 236 ff.] which caused nothing less than
a panic among the Council at Dublin. The practical effect was that outside
the Pale the chiefs were doing as they chose, and the English could hardly
move beyond their fortifications; even within the Pale ravaging was almost
unchecked; and if it had been possible for Tyrone to march in force on
Dublin, the capital would probably have fallen.

In the troubles of Ireland, Essex was to seek a ladder for his ambitions,
and to find, as others before and after him have found, the road to ruin.

[Sidenote: Essex]

The personal interest of these years belongs very much to the rivalries of
three men; Robert Cecil, sly, cautious, and plausible; Raleigh, brilliant
and bitter, intellectually a head and shoulders above the rest; Essex, not
lacking in abilities distorted by inordinate vanity. Associated on equal
terms, in war, with the experience of Howard and the genius of Raleigh, at
the Council-board with the astute and consummately trained Cecil, petted
and spoiled by the elderly Queen as she had spoiled no one since the days
of Leicester's youth, a public favourite by reason of his undoubted courage
and his popular habits, Essex, young as he was, had long imagined himself
the greatest man in the kingdom, chafing at every favour bestowed on a
rival, and treating men who knew themselves his superiors with intolerable
arrogance. Now, when the state of Ireland, and the remedies, were the
subject of grave anxiety, he clamoured of the blank incompetence to the
task of every one who had undertaken it or could be suggested as fitted for
it; with the result that he was invited to undertake it himself. Thereupon
he made unprecedented conditions. Some months elapsed before the conditions
could be arranged; it would certainly seem that his object was to get under
his own captaincy a force large enough to enable him to defy all control,
though he was not without friends to warn him that his influence with
Elizabeth depended on the fascination of his presence--a fact of which his
ill-wishers were equally aware, and by which they intended to profit to the
full. Not the least part of the danger to Essex lay in the fact that the
political air was thick with intrigues as to the succession when Elizabeth
should die, and that his rivals might utilise his absence to secure the
throne for a candidate who under the circumstances would be certain to
prove unfriendly to him.

[Sidenote: 1599 Essex in Ireland]

But the hot-headed Earl had deprived himself of the power of choice though
he was almost equally unwilling to resign or to undertake the task to which
he was committed. In April 1599 he appeared in Ireland as Lord Lieutenant,
virtually with plenary powers alike in civil and military affairs, and a
warrant to return in a year's time. Yet he chafed at such restrictions as
were imposed upon him, at the incompetence of the officers with whom he was
provided, at the refusal to permit appointments objectionable to the Queen,
at the inefficiency of his troops and the inadequacy of his supplies. In
theory, he was come to Ireland to strike straight at the heart of the
rebellion and crush Tyrone in his own fastnesses. He found that the
condition of the country absolutely precluded an immediate campaign in the
North. He proceeded instead on a military progress through Leinster and
Munster, capturing castles which surrendered with no more than a show of
resistance, scattering small garrisons, perpetually harassed by guerilla
companies who avoided pitched battles. He gave Southampton command of the
cavalry in defiance of the Queen's orders, and then received from her so
peremptory a message that he dared not maintain the appointment. The rebels
cut up the forces of the President of Connaught, and another detached
column in Wicklow: and on his way back to Dublin, Essex himself had much
ado to beat off an attack on his main army at Arklow.

In the meantime, he was writing letters of furious complaint that the
Council in London--in especial Raleigh, who was now associated with
Cecil--were deliberately seeking to cripple him for their own ends--a
charge which they declined to answer, as being merely a piece of excited
extravagance; and Elizabeth rated him, not more sharply than he deserved,
for wasting the unusually large sums provided for Ireland on a procedure so
vain. Further, she peremptorily ordered him to march against O'Neill
without delay, warning him on no account to withdraw from the country.

[Sidenote: Fall of Essex]

So at the end of August Essex set out. But when he found himself within
striking distance of Tyrone's forces, the latter invited him to a
parley. It was granted and held, and was followed by two more meetings;
with the amazing result that a truce was concluded and both armies
withdrew. That some personal compact was made can hardly be doubted; what
it was remains unknown, and it was never carried out; but the presumption
is that there was some joint scheme for securing the succession of King
James to the throne, with Tyrone supreme in Ireland and Essex in England.
Tyrone himself gave the Spaniards an obviously improbable version of the
plan (after it had collapsed), according to which he had induced Essex to
contemplate adhesion to the ultra-Spanish party, though he was the most
pronouncedly hostile to Spain and to Catholicism of all the English
leaders.

Whatever the plot, the ignominy of such a termination to the lavish
preparations and boastings preceding was palpable. Elizabeth was furious,
and her expressions of resentment were scathing. Whereupon Essex took the
very worst step possible in his own interests. Relying on the Queen's
curious infatuation for his person, which had survived innumerable quarrels
and flagrant impertinences, he left his office, sped across the channel,
rode post haste across England, flung himself, all mud-bespattered into the
presence of his mistress in her chamber, and prayed for pardon. For the
moment, she was too utterly taken aback to be herself; he left her thinking
he had won. But the outrage was too gross. That evening he found himself
under arrest. His enemies' policy of "giving him rope enough" had been more
completely successful than they could have hoped. He had set the noose
about his neck with his own hand, though it was not yet tightened.

[Sidenote: Catholic factions]

The whole of the Essex story is inextricably interwoven with the crowd of
intrigues in progress in connexion with the succession. In England by this
time the ultra-Spanish or Jesuit faction, which would have enthroned the
Inquisition with a Spanish nominee as sovereign, was all but non-existent.
The division was into two main parties. One desired a sovereign under whom
either Catholicism should be restored under such tolerant conditions as
prevailed under Henry IV. in France, or else Anglicanism might be retained,
extending a like toleration to Catholics. There was of course a
fundamental divergence between these two positions; but very many of the
nobility, whether professed Anglicans or professed Catholics, were prepared
to accept either alternative. Of this party the intellectual chief was
Cecil. The second party, that of which Essex was the head, relied primarily
upon the Puritan element, and advocated persistent hostility to Spain.

Now the effective Spanish position had been materially changed since,
shortly before his death, Philip II. had erected the Netherlands into a
separate sovereignty under the Infanta Isabella and the Austrian Archduke
Albert to whom she was betrothed: he had thus made possible for England a
revival of the old-time Burgundian alliance independent of Spain. The
Archduke knew that as a Spanish Princess Isabella would never be accepted
in England, but the union under one head of England and Burgundy was a very
different matter, which might provide a key to the religious problem very
much akin to that which France had recently found. It was in this direction
that the eyes of the majority of the Cecil party were probably turned. For
Essex however--unless indeed he really contemplated the hare-brained scheme
of striking for the throne himself--the course was clearly to bring in
James as his own puppet. It is no doubt easy to remark that that crafty
prince would very soon have outwitted and tripped up the shallow and
overweening Earl: but the Earl himself was the last person to anticipate
such a _denouement_.

[Sidenote: Philip III]

But outside England there was the cunning King of Scots, on the one hand
intriguing with Essex, on the other appealing to the Pope, as a Catholic at
heart who was only waiting for adequate support to drop the mask--bidding
in fact for the countenance of both camps. There was Tyrone in Ireland,
similarly posing to Spain as the champion of Catholicism, while intriguing
with Essex and James indubitably for something like sovereignty for himself
as the price of supporting the Scots King. And there was the young Philip
III. of Spain, idle and vain, who, with a bankrupt treasury and a rotten
administration had his head full of the most inflated ideas of his own
power, and still fancied himself quite capable of conquering England at a
blow; a delusion from which the fanatical religionists who trusted not in
the arm of flesh, were also suffering. To him therefore the idea of James
ascending the English throne even as a Catholic was quite repugnant; as was
also the succession of his sister, unless she restored the Netherlands to
him. Whereas the union with the Netherlands was precisely the one condition
which made her candidature possible in England.

While Essex was still in Ireland this imagination of Philip's had borne
curious fruit. He ordered the preparation of another Armada: the greatest
of all. The Spanish vapourings on the subject actually created some alarm
in England; Raleigh and Lord Thomas Howard very promptly had efficient
fleets on the narrow seas; the Lord Admiral (now Earl of Nottingham) was
appointed Lord General and there was a great mustering of troops and
raising of companies by noblemen and gentlemen. But it is more than
probable that, as far as the land forces were concerned, these measures
were intended quite as much to be a hint to Essex that he would find any
attempt at coercion an exceedingly dangerous game, as for protection
against any effort which Philip was capable of putting forth. In fact this
Armada ended in the feeblest of all these feeble fiascoes: for while it was
making ready, a Dutch fleet was raiding the Canaries and the trade routes;
when it put to sea its energies were absorbed in a futile attempt to catch
these audacious enemies; and before it reached the Azores, a fourth part of
it had foundered and the balance had been practically crippled by foul
weather.

Such then was the position when in the autumn of 1599 Essex suddenly found
himself a prisoner. Cecil however did not think it politic to go to
extremities. The Earl was not haled before the Star-Chamber as was proposed
in some quarters; it was not till the following June that he was brought
before a commission of the Privy Council for enquiry and censure; and some
two months later he was released. But from October 1599 to August 1600 he
remained in custody.

[Sidenote: 1600 Ireland]

In the meantime, Tyrone was appealing to Spain and to the Archduke Albert.
The latter, with ulterior objects, was negotiating for peace with Cecil--
who was following a path of his own--and had no mind to complicate the
intrigue by an Irish embroilment. Philip immediately gave orders that
everything was to be provided to conquer Ireland out of hand; but as the
means for carrying out those orders were entirely lacking, there were no
results. Moreover, Elizabeth had at last realised that the systematic
reduction of Ireland was now an absolute necessity which could only be
accomplished by adequate forces under a competent commander. Montjoy, a
connexion of Essex, was sent over; his dealings with Tyrone met with
increasing success. Essex had at first counted on Montjoy acting in effect
as his own deputy; but in this he was disappointed. Placed in a position of
responsibility, the Deputy immediately rejected the overtures he made. The
army in Ireland was not to be the instrument of Essex's ambition.

[Sidenote: Succession intrigues]

Where so many of the actors were simultaneously engaged in alternative
intrigues, some of them with entire insincerity, and solely for the purpose
of keeping inconvenient persons or groups in play until they were harmless,
it is not possible to be sure in most cases of the real policy intended.
Cecil's party were in some sort of communication even with Parsons, who
persuaded himself that if only Philip would definitely commit himself to a
nominee, and would strike in before the Scots King could secure himself,
the chiefs of that party would support him. It is not credible that this
was really the case, but it is at least probable that the group were
deliberately seeking to produce that impression at the Spanish head-
quarters. For them the essential thing was to wreck Essex on the one side
and out-wit the extreme Catholics on the other. Others might be deceived,
but Cecil and Raleigh at least must have been fully alive to the
worthlessness of any programme which assumed political intelligence on the
part of Philip, or effective activity in Spain. James was playing for the
support of every section, by inducing each to believe that his overtures to
the other sections were mere blinds: and during this year he was working
for the support of Henry IV., as being at heart a tolerant Catholic.
Whether Essex, who must have been aware of the intrigue, accepted the
policy or regarded it as merely a useful diplomatic deception remains
uncertain; at any rate it did not alienate him. But the appearance of a
Franco-Scottish rapprochement was an immediate incentive to and excuse for
counter negotiations with Philip and the Archduke on the part of the
English government.

[Sidenote: The end of Essex 1600-1]

At the end of August, Essex was released, though still excluded from
favour. The Cecil party had complete control of the situation, and to all
appearance meant to come to terms with the Archduke: which would wreck the
Earl's ambitions irretrievably. Now, when his one chance lay in playing the
repentant and tearful adorer of a mistress cruel and fair if somewhat
mature--a very familiar role for him--his cry was all for the restoration
of lost pecuniary privileges; and his mistress would naturally have none of
a lover so self-centred. Despairing of the Queen's favour, he was rash
enough to pose as a popular champion, declaiming against the intriguers who
were selling England to the Infanta, and drawing round him the young
hot-heads and scape-graces of the nobility, in the insane belief that their
swords and the cheers of the London mob would enable him to effect the
overthrow of Cecil by a _coup de main_. When the time was ripe, early
in February, Cecil struck. Essex was summoned to appear before the Council.
He evaded the summons, and next day with his friends made a frantic attempt
to raise the City for the removal of the Queen's false Counsellors. That
evening he was a prisoner in the Tower. A few days later, he was brought to
trial for treason before a Court of Peers, and was condemned and
executed. Pardon was impossible, though Elizabeth's grief at signing his
death warrant was poignant and permanent.

[Sidenote: Robert Cecil]

The triumph of Cecil was complete. The utter overthrow of Essex had been
his first objective; now he was free to work his own underground policy.
Publicly and ostensibly as before he remained the chief of the "moderate"
party, seeking reconciliation with Spain and a _modus vivendi_ between
Catholics and Anglicans; privately he took Essex's vacated place as the
friend of the Scots King. Thenceforth, from the Moderate camp, directing
the Moderate programme, he was in intimate correspondence [Footnote: Now
published in its entirety by the Camden Society.] with James; working for
the ultimate destruction of his rivals and associates, when the Stewart
should become King of England, owing his crown to Cecil's dexterity. James,
realising his position, promptly fell in with Cecil's plans, dropped
coquetting with Catholics abroad, and was quite content to wait for a dead
woman's shoes, and to give up irritating demands for an immediate
recognition, of which, with Cecil on his side, he felt ultimately assured.

[Sidenote: Ireland 1600-1]

During 1600, Montjoy had already been doing good service in Ireland. The
14,000 troops at his disposal--though thrice as many as had been allowed to
Norreys--were insufficient for dealing a rapid and crushing blow at the
heart of the rebellion in Ulster. In Munster, however, the Deputy had a
vigorous lieutenant in Carew, and the chiefs were of a divided mind--
largely because many of them held their positions precariously, in virtue
of the English tenure which had been officially substituted for the Irish
method of succession--so that the forces of resistance were to a great
extent broken up. But in Ulster, Montjoy accomplished a fine strategic
stroke by making a feint of invading the province from the south, while he
sent a large force of 4000 men by sea, under command of Docwra, to Loch
Foyle, where they established themselves at Londonderry. He was thus in a
position to strike at Tyrone or O'Donnell whenever those chiefs should
attempt to move southward in force: as was exemplified next year, when
Donegal was seized, and the Blackwater fort was recaptured by a move from
the South, because Tyrone could not withdraw his attention from Derry.

[Sidenote: 1601 The Irish rebellion broken]

About the time of Essex's crash, there were again rumours of a Spanish
invasion. Carew could deal with the Irish rebels alone, but hardly with a
strong invading force as well. When in September 1601 a real Spanish force
did arrive at Kinsale, Montjoy had to concentrate in Munster. But though
this expedition showed the limits of Philip's capacities, it was as usual
so ill found that many of the ships had been obliged to put back to
Corunna, and others, failing to make Kinsale, put in at Baltimore. Montjoy
was in strength near Cork, Carew at Limerick ready to intercept the
approach of the rebels from the North. In a very short time, Kinsale was
beleagured, and when a portion of a Spanish reinforcement managed to reach
the coast in December, it found an English flotilla before it, and its
troops were isolated in a third station at Castlehaven. O'Donnell however
succeeded in evading Carew, who then joined forces with Montjoy and the
fleet before Kinsale. When Tyrone arrived, an attempt was made to relieve
Kinsale; but Montjoy was unusually well served by his intelligence, his
dispositions were skilful, and the rebels were totally routed beyond
possibility of present recovery. Aguilar, the Spanish commander, was
admitted to terms; Baltimore and Castlehaven were surrendered. Thus
abortively collapsed the last effort of Philip III. The Irish rebellion was
broken. Many of the chiefs after vain and desperate resistance escaped to
Spain; others surrendered to the Queen's mercy. O'Donnell was of the
former; he died soon after reaching Spain. But Tyrone the diplomatic
succeeded in making terms. It seemed that once more the English Government
was supreme.

[Sidenote: 1602 The Succession]

Once again, as the death of the great Queen becomes imminent, we must
remind ourselves that to the last she refused to recognise any heir, and
that there were various claimants, [Footnote: Genealogical Tables;
_Front._ and _App. A_, iii.] each one with a colourable claim.
In point of priority by heredity King James of Scotland unquestionably
stood first of the descendants of Henry VII. and Elizabeth of York; yet the
fact that he was not only an alien but King of Scotland made him in himself
an unwelcome candidate. Next to him, since like him she descended from
Margaret Tudor, stood his cousin Arabella--a Stewart too, but of the Lennox
Stewarts, not the Royal House: an English subject; but with the drawback
that she was a woman and unmarried. Third, but first under the will of
Henry VIII. was Lord Beauchamp, son of Katharine Grey and the Earl of
Hertford; about the validity of his parents' marriage however there was a
doubt. The Stanleys of Derby, who through Margaret Clifford could claim
descent from the younger daughter of Henry VII., would have nothing to do
with inheriting the crown; no more would the Earl of Huntingdon who

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