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Sir Francis Drake Revived

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Etext prepared by Dagny, dagnyj@hotmail.com
and John Bickers, jbickers@ihug.co.nz


Editor: Philip Nichols


This text was originally prepared from a 1910 edition, published by P F
Collier & Son Company, New York. It included this note:

Faithfully taken out of the report of Master Christopher Ceely,
Ellis Hixom, and others, who were in the same Voyage with him
By Philip Nichols, Preacher
Reviewed by Sir Francis Drake himself
Set forth by Sir Francis Drake, Baronet (his nephew)



Sir Francis Drake, the greatest of the naval adventurers of England of
the time of Elizabeth, was born in Devonshire about 1540. He went to
sea early, was sailing to the Spanish Main by 1565, and commanded a
ship under Hawkins in an expedition that was overwhelmed by the
Spaniards in 1567. In order to recompense himself for the loss
suffered in this disaster, he equipped the expedition against the
Spanish treasure-house at Nombre de Dios in 1572, the fortunes of
which are described in the first of the two following narratives. It
was on this voyage that he was led by native guides to "that goodly
and great high tree" on the isthmus of Darien, from which, first of
Englishmen, he looked on the Pacific, and "besought Almighty God of
His goodness to give him life and leave to sail once in an English
ship in that sea."

The fulfilment of this prayer is described in the second of the
voyages here printed, in which it is told how, in 1578, Drake passed
through the Straits of Magellan into waters never before sailed by his
countrymen, and with a single ship rifled the Spanish settlements on
the west coast of South America and plundered the Spanish treasure-
ships; how, considering it unsafe to go back the way he came lest the
enemy should seek revenge, he went as far north as the Golden Gate,
then passed across the Pacific and round by the Cape of Good Hope, and
so home, the first Englishman to circumnavigate the globe. Only
Magellan's ship had preceded him in the feat, and Magellan had died on
the voyage. The Queen visited the ship, "The Golden Hind," as she lay
at Deptford and knighted the commander on board.

Drake's further adventures were of almost equal interest. Returning
from a raid on the Spaniards in 1586, he brought home the despairing
Virginian colony, and is said at the same time to have introduced from
America tobacco and potatoes. Two years later he led the English fleet
in the decisive engagement with the Great Armada. In 1595 he set out
on another voyage to the Spanish Main; and in the January of the
following year died off Porto Bello and was buried in the waters where
he had made his name as the greatest seaman of his day and nation.

KING, all the blessings of this, and a better life.


That this brief Treatise is yours, both by right and by
succession, will appear by the Author's and Actor's ensuing
/Dedication/. To praise either the Mistress or the Servant, might
justly incur the censure of /Quis eos unquam sanus vituperavit/;
either's worth having sufficiently blazed their fame.

This Present loseth nothing, by glancing on former actions; and
the observation of passed adventures may probably advantage future
employments. Caesar wrote his own Commentaries; and this Doer was
partly the Indictor.

Neither is there wanting living testimony to confirm its truth.
For his sake, then, cherish what is good! and I shall willingly
entertain check for what is amiss. Your favourable acceptance may
encourage my collecting of more neglected notes! However, though
Virtue, as Lands, be not inheritable; yet hath he left of his
Name, one that resolves, and therein joys to approve himself.

Your most humble and loyal subject,


The Dedicatory Epistle, Intended To
Written By SIR FRANCIS DRAKE, Deceased.

To The Queen's Most Excellent Majesty,
my most dread Sovereign.


Seeing divers have diversely reported and written of these Voyages
and Actions which I have attempted and made, every one
endeavouring to bring to light whatsoever inklings or conjectures
they have had; whereby many untruths have been published, and the
certain truth concealed: as [so] I have thought it necessary
myself, as in a Card [chart] to prick the principal points of the
counsels taken, attempts made, and success had, during the whole
course of my employment in these services against the Spaniard.
Not as setting sail for maintaining my reputation in men's
judgment, but only as sitting at helm, if occasion shall be, for
conducting the like actions hereafter. So I have accounted it my
duty, to present this Discourse to Your Majesty, as of right;
either for itself being the first fruits of your Servant's pen, or
for the matter, being service done to Your Majesty by your poor
vassal, against your great Enemy: at times, in such places, and
after such sort as may seem strange to those that are not
acquainted with the whole carriage thereof; but will be a pleasing
remembrance to Your Highness, who take the apparent height of the
Almighty's favour towards you, by these events, as truest

Humbly submitting myself to Your gracious censure, both in writing
and presenting; that Posterity be not deprived of such help as may
happily be gained hereby, and our present Age, at least, may be
satisfied, in the rightfulness of these actions, which hitherto
have been silenced: and Your Servant's labour not seem altogether
lost, not only in travels by sea and land, but also in writing the
Report thereof (a work to him no less troublesome) yet made
pleasant and sweet, in that it hath been, is, and shall be for
Your Majesty's content; to whom I have devoted myself [and] live
or die.


January 1, 1592 [i.e., 1593].



Without apology, I desire thee, in this ensuing Discourse, to
observe, with me, the power and justice of the LORD of Hosts, Who
could enable so mean a person to right himself upon so mighty a
Prince; together with the goodness and providence of GOD very
observable in that it pleased Him to raise this man, not only from
a low condition, but even from the state of persecution. His
father suffered in it, being forced to fly from his house, near
South Tavistock in Devon, into Kent: and there to inhabit in the
hull of a ship, wherein many of his younger sons were born. He had
twelve in all: and as it pleased GOD to give most of them a being
upon the water, so the greatest part of them died at sea. The
youngest, who though he was [went] as far as any, yet died at
home; whose posterity inherits that, which by himself and this
noble Gentleman the eldest brother, was hardly, yet worthily

I could more largely acquaint thee, that this voyage was his Third
he made into the West Indies; after that [of] his excellent
service, both by sea and land, in Ireland, under WALTER, Earl of
ESSEX; his next, about the World; another, wherein he took St.
Jago, Cartagena, St. Domingo, St. Augustino; his doings at Cadiz;
besides the first Carrack taught by him to sail into England; his
stirrings in Eighty-seven; his remarkable actions in Eighty-eight;
his endeavours in the Portugal employment; his last enterprise,
determined by death; and his filling Plymouth with a plentiful
stream of fresh water: but I pass by all these. I had rather thou
shouldest inquire of others! then to seem myself a vainglorious

I intend not his praise! I strive only to set out the praise of
his and our good GOD! that guided him in his truth! and protected
him in his courses! My ends are to stir thee up to the worship of
GOD, and service of our King and Country, by his example! If
anything be worth thy consideration; conclude with me, that the
LORD only, can do great things!



Calling upon this dull or effeminate Age, to follow his noble
steps for gold and silver.

As there is a general Vengeance which secretly pursueth the doers of
wrong, and suffereth them not to prosper, albeit no man of purpose
empeach them: so is there a particular Indignation, engrafted in the
bosom of all that are wronged, which ceaseth not seeking, by all means
possible, to redress or remedy the wrong received. Insomuch as those
great and mighty men, in whom their prosperous estate hath bred such
an overweening of themselves, but they do not only wrong their
inferiors, but despise them being injured, seem to take a very unfit
course for their own safety, and far unfitter for their rest. For as
ESOP teacheth, even the fly hath her spleen, and the emmet [ant] is
not without her choler; and both together many times find means
whereby, though the eagle lays her eggs in JUPITER'S lap, yet by one
way or other, she escapeth not requital of her wrong done [to] the

Among the manifold examples hereof, which former Ages have committed
to memory, or our Time yielded to sight: I suppose, there hath not
been any more notable then this in hand; either in respect of the
greatness of the person in whom the first injury was offered, or the
meanness of him who righted himself. The one being, in his own
conceit, the mightiest Monarch of all the world! The other, an English
Captain, a mean subject of her Majesty's! Who (besides the wrongs
received at Rio de [la] Hacha with Captain JOHN LOVELL in the years
[15]65 and [15]66) having been grievously endamaged at San Juan de
Ulua in the Bay of Mexico, with captain JOHN HAWKINS, in the years
[15]67 and [15]68, not only in the loss of his goods of some value,
but also of his kinsmen and friends, and that by the falsehood of DON
MARTIN HENRIQUEZ then the Viceroy of Mexico; and finding that no
recompense could be recovered out of Spain, by any of his own means,
or by Her Majesty's letters; he used such helps as he might, by two
several voyages into the West Indies (the first with two ships, the
one called the /Dragon/, the other the /Swan/, in the year [15]70: the
other in the /Swan/ alone in the year [15]71), to gain such
intelligences as might further him, to get some amends for his loss.

On Whitsunday Eve, being the 24th of May, in the year 1572, Captain
DRAKE in the /Pascha/ of Plymouth of 70 tons, his admiral [flag-ship];
with the /Swan/ of the same port, of 25 tons, his vice-admiral, in
which his brother JOHN DRAKE was Captain (having in both of them, of
men and boys seventy-three, all voluntarily assembled; of which the
eldest was fifty, all the rest under thirty: so divided that there
were forty-seven in the one ship, and twenty-six in the other. Both
richly furnished with victuals and apparel for a whole year; and no
less heedfully provided of all manner of munition, artillery,
artificers, stuff and tools, that were requisite for such a Man-of-war
in such an attempt: but especially having three dainty pinnaces made
in Plymouth, taken asunder in all pieces, and stowed aboard, to be set
up as occasion served), set sail, from out of the Sound of Plymouth,
with intent to land at Nombre de Dios.

The wind continued prosperous and favourable at northeast, and gave us
a very good passage, without any alteration or change: so that albeit
we had sight (3rd June) of Porto Santo, one of the Madeiras, and of
the Canaries also within twelve days of our setting forth: yet we
never struck sail nor came to anchor, nor made any stay for any cause,
neither there nor elsewhere, until twenty-five days after; when (28th
June) we had sight of the island Guadaloupe, one of the islands of the
West Indies, goodly high land.

The next morning (29th June), we entered between Dominica and
Guadaloupe, where we descried two canoes coming from a rocky island,
three leagues off Dominica; which usually repair thither to fish, by
reason of the great plenty thereof, which is there continually to be

We landed on the south side of it, remaining there three days to
refresh our men; and to water our ships out of one of those goodly
rivers, which fall down off the mountain. There we saw certain poor
cottages; built with Palmito boughs and branches; but no inhabitants,
at that time, civil or savage: the cottages it may be (for we could
know no certain cause of the solitariness we found there) serving, not
for continual inhabitation, but only for their uses, that came to that
place at certain seasons to fish.

The third day after (1st July), about three in the afternoon, we set
sail from thence, toward the continent of /Terra firma/.

And the fifth day after (6th July), we had sight of the high land of
Santa Marta; but came not near the shore by ten leagues.

But thence directed our course, for a place called by us, Port
Pheasant; for that our Captain had so named it in his former voyage,
by reason of the great store of those goodly fowls, which he and his
company did then daily kill and feed on, in that place. In this course
notwithstanding we had two days calm, yet within six days after we
arrived (12th July) at Port Pheasant, which is a fine round bay, of
very safe harbour for all winds, lying between two high points, not
past half a cable's length over at the mouth, but within, eight or ten
cables' length every way, having ten or twelve fathoms of water more
or less, full of good fish; the soil also very fruitful, which may
appear by this, that our Captain having been in this place, within a
year and few days before [i. e., in July, 1571] and having rid the
place with many alleys and paths made; yet now all was so overgrown
again, as that we doubted, at first, whether this was the same place
or not.

At our entrance into this bay, our Captain having given order to his
brother what to do, if any occasion should happen in his absence, was
on his way, with intent to have gone aland with some few only in his
company, because he knew there dwelt no Spaniards within thirty-five
leagues of that place. [Santiago de] Tolou being the nearest to the
eastwards, and Nombre de Dios to the westwards, where any of that
nation dwelt.

But as we were rowing ashore, we saw a smoke in the woods, even near
the place where our Captain had aforetime frequented; therefore
thinking it fit to take more strength with us, he caused his other
boat also to be manned, with certain muskets and other weapons,
suspecting some enemy had been ashore.

When we landed, we found by evident marks, that there had been lately
there, a certain Englishman of Plymouth, called JOHN GARRET, who had
been conducted thither by certain English mariners which had been
there with our Captain, in some of his former voyages. He had now left
a plate of lead, nailed fast to a mighty great tree (greater than any
four men joining hands could fathom about) on which were engraven
these words, directed to our Captain.


If you fortune to come to this Port, make haste away! For the
Spaniards which you had with you here, the last year, have bewrayed
this place, and taken away all that you left here.

I depart from hence, this present 7th of July, 1572.

Your very loving friend,
John Garret.

The smoke which we saw, was occasioned by a fire, which the said
Garret and his company had made, before their departure, in a very
great tree, not far from this which had the lead nailed on it, which
had continued burning at least five days before our arrival.

This advertisement notwithstanding, our Captain meant not to depart
before he had built his pinnaces; which were yet aboard in pieces: for
which purpose he knew this port to be a most convenient place.

And therefore as soon as we had moored our ships, our Captain
commanded his pinnaces to be brought ashore for the carpenters to set
up; himself employing all his other company in fortifying a place
(which he had chosen out, as a most fit plot) of three-quarters of an
acre of ground, to make some strength or safety for the present, as
sufficiently as the means he had would afford. Which was performed by
felling of great trees; bowsing and hauling them together, with great
pulleys and hawsers, until they were enclosed to the water; and then
letting others fall upon them, until they had raised with trees and
boughs thirty feet in height round about, leaving only one gate to
issue at, near the water side; which every night, that we might sleep
in more safety and security, was shut up, with a great tree drawn
athwart it.

The whole plot was built in pentagonal form, to wit, of five equal
sides and angles, of which angles two were toward the sea, and that
side between them was left open, for the easy launching of our
pinnaces: the other four equal sides were wholly, excepting the gate
before mentioned, firmly closed up.

Without, instead of a trench, the ground was rid [laid bare] for fifty
feet space, round about. The rest was very thick with trees, of which
many were of those kinds which are never without green leaves, till
they are dead at the root: excepting only one kind of tree amongst
them, much like to our Ash, which when the sun cometh right over them,
causing great rains, suddenly casteth all its leaves, viz., within
three days, and yet within six days after becomes all green again. The
leaves of the other trees do also in part fall away, but so as the
trees continue still green notwithstanding: being of a marvellous
height, and supported as it were with five or six natural buttresses
growing out of their bodies so far, that three men may so be hidden in
each of them, that they which shall stand in the very next buttress
shall not be able to see them. One of them specially was marked to
have had seven of those stays or buttresses, for the supporting of his
greatness and height, which being measured with a line close by the
bark and near to the ground, as it was indented or extant, was found
to be above thirty-nine yards about. The wood of those trees is as
heavy or heavier than Brazil or /Lignum vitae/; and is in colour

The next day after we had arrived (13th July), there came also into
that bay, an English bark of the Isle of Wight, of Sir EDWARD
HORSEY'S; wherein JAMES RANSE was Captain and JOHN OVERY, Master, with
thirty men: of which, some had been with our Captain in the same
place, the year before. They brought in with them a Spanish caravel of
Seville, which he had taken the day before, athwart of that place;
being a Caravel of /Adviso/ [Despatch boat] bound for Nombre de Dios;
and also one shallop with oars, which he had taken at Cape Blanc. This
Captain RANSE understanding our Captain's purpose, was desirous to
join in consort with him; and was received upon conditions agreed on
between them.

Within seven days after his coming, having set up our pinnaces, and
despatched all our business, in providing all things necessary, out of
our ships into our pinnaces: we departed (20th July) from that
harbour, setting sail in the morning towards Nombre de Dios,
continuing our course till we came to the Isles of Pinos: where, being
within three days arrived, we found (22nd July) two frigates of Nombre
de Dios lading plank and timber from thence.

The Negroes which were in those frigates, gave us some particular
understanding of the present state of the town; and besides, told us
that they had heard a report, that certain soldiers should come
thither shortly, and were daily looked for, from the Governor of
Panama, and the country thereabout, to defend the town against the
Cimaroons (a black people, which about eighty years past [i.e., 1512]
fled from the Spaniards their masters, by reason of their cruelty, and
are since grown to a Nation, under two Kings of their own: the one
inhabiteth to the West, and the other to the East of the Way from
Nombre de Dios to Panama) which had nearly surprised it [i.e., Nombre
de Dios], about six weeks before [i.e., about 10th June, 1572].

Our Captain willing to use those Negroes well (not hurting himself)
set them ashore upon the Main, that they might perhaps join themselves
to their countrymen the Cimaroons, and gain their liberty, if they
would; or if they would not, yet by reason of the length and
troublesomeness of the way by land to Nombre de Dios, he might prevent
any notice of his coming, which they should be able to give. For he
was loath to put the town to too much charge (which he knew they would
willingly bestow) in providing beforehand for his entertainment; and
therefore he hastened his going thither, with as much speed and
secrecy as possibly he could.

To this end, disposing of all his companies, according as they
inclined most; he left the three ships and the caravel with Captain
RANSE; and chose into his four pinnaces (Captain RANSE'S shallop made
the fourth) beside fifty-three of our men, twenty more of Captain
RANSE'S company; with which he seemed competently furnished, to
achieve what he intended; especially having proportioned, according to
his own purpose, and our men's disposition, their several arms, viz.,
six targets, six firepikes, twelve pikes, twenty-four muskets and
calivers, sixteen bows, and six partisans, two drums, and two

Thus having parted (23rd July) from our company: we arrived at the
island of Cativaas, being twenty-five leagues distant, about five days
afterward (28th July). There we landed all in the morning betimes: and
our Captain trained his men, delivering them their several weapons and
arms which hitherto he had kept very fair and safe in good caske
[casks]: and exhorting them after his manner, he declared "the
greatness of the hope of good things that was there! the weakness of
the town, being unwalled! and the hope he had of prevailing to
recompense his wrongs! especially now that he should come with such a
crew, who were like-minded with himself; and at such a time, as he
should be utterly undiscovered."

Therefore, even that afternoon, he causeth us to set sail for Nombre
de Dios, so that before sunset we were as far as Rio Francisco.
Thence, he led us hard aboard the shore, that we might not be descried
of the Watch House, until that being come within two leagues of the
point of the bay, he caused us to strike a hull, and cast our grappers
[grappling irons], riding so until it was dark night.

Then we weighed again, and set sail, rowing hard aboard the shore,
with as much silence as we could, till we recovered the point of the
harbour under the high land. There, we stayed, all silent; purposing
to attempt the town in the dawning of the day: after that we had
reposed ourselves, for a while.

But our captain with some other of his best men, finding that our
people were talking of the greatness of the town, and what their
strength might be; especially by the report of the Negroes that we
took at the Isle of Pinos: thought it best to put these conceits out
of their heads, and therefore to take the opportunity of the rising of
the moon that night, persuading them that "it was the day dawning." By
this occasion we were at the town a large hour sooner than first was
purposed. For we arrived there by three of the clock after midnight.
At that time it fortuned that a ship of Spain, of 60 tons, laden with
Canary wines and other commodities, which had but lately come into the
bay; and had not yet furled her spirit-sail (espying our four
pinnaces, being an extraordinary number, and those rowing with many
oars) sent away her gundeloe [? gondola] towards the town, to give
warning. But our Captain perceiving it, cut betwixt her and the town,
forcing her to go to the other side of the bay: whereby we landed
without impeachment, although we found one gunner upon the Platform
[battery] in the very place where we landed; being a sandy place and
no key [quay] at all, not past twenty yards from the houses.

There we found six great pieces of brass ordinance, mounted upon their
carriages, some Demy, some Whole-Culvering.

We presently dismounted them. The gunner fled. The town took alarm
(being very ready thereto, by reason of their often disquieting by
their near neighbours the Cimaroons); as we perceived, not only by the
noise and cries of the people, but by the bell ringing out, and drums
running up and down the town.

Our captain, according to the directions which he had given over
night, to such as he had made choice of for the purpose, left twelve
to keep the pinnaces; that we might be sure of a safe retreat, if the
worst befell. And having made sure work of the Platform before he
would enter the town, he thought best, first to view the Mount on the
east side of the town: where he was informed, by sundry intelligences
the year before, they had an intent to plant ordnance, which might
scour round about the town.

Therefore, leaving one half of his company to make a stand at the foot
of the Mount, he marched up presently unto the top of it, with all
speed to try the truth of the report, for the more safety. There we
found no piece of ordnance, but only a very fit place prepared for
such use, and therefore we left it without any of our men, and with
all celerity returned now down the Mount.

Then our Captain appointed his brother, with JOHN OXNAM [or OXENHAM]
and sixteen other of his men, to go about, behind the King's Treasure
House, and enter near the eastern end of the Market Place: himself
with the rest, would pass up the broad street into the Market Place,
with sound of drum and trumpet. The Firepikes, divided half to the
one, and half to the other company, served no less for fright to the
enemy than light of our men, who by this means might discern every
place very well, as if it were near day: whereas the inhabitants stood
amazed at so strange a sight, marvelling what the matter might be, and
imagining, by reason of our drums and trumpets sounding in so sundry
places, that we had been a far greater number then we were.

Yet, by means of the soldiers of which were in the town, and by reason
of the time which we spent in marching up and down the Mount, the
soldiers and inhabitants had put themselves in arms, and brought their
companies in some order, at the south-east end of the Market Place,
near the Governor's House, and not far from the gate of the town,
which is the only one, leading towards Panama: having (as it seems)
gathered themselves thither, either that in the Governor's sight they
might shew their valour, if it might prevail; or else, that by the
gate they might best take their /Vale/, and escape readiest.

And to make a shew of far greater numbers of shot, or else of a custom
they had, by the like device to terrify the Cimaroons; they had hung
lines with matches lighted, overthwart the western end of the Market
Place, between the Church and the Cross; as though there had been in a
readiness some company of shot, whereas indeed there were not past two
or three that taught these lines to dance, till they themselves ran
away, as soon as they perceived they were discovered.

But the soldiers and such as were joined with them, presented us with
a jolly hot volley of shot, beating full upon the full egress of that
street, in which we marched; and levelling very low, so as their
bullets ofttimes grazed on the sand.

We stood not to answer them in like terms; but having discharged our
first volley of shot, and feathered them with our arrows (which our
Captain had caused to be made of purpose in England; not great sheaf
arrows, but fine roving shafts, very carefully reserved for the
service) we came to the push of pike, so that our firepikes being well
armed and made of purpose, did us very great service.

For our men with their pikes and short weapons, in short time took
such order among these gallants (some using the butt-end of their
pieces instead of other weapons), that partly by reason of our arrows
which did us there notable service, partly by occasion of this strange
and sudden closing with them in this manner unlooked for, and the
rather for that at the very instant, our Captain's brother, with the
other company, with their firepikes, entered the Market Place by the
eastern street: they casting down their weapons, fled all out of the
town by the gate aforesaid, which had been built for a bar to keep out
of the town the Cimaroons, who had often assailed it; but now served
for a gap for the Spaniards to fly at.

In following, and returning; divers of our men were hurt with the
weapons which the enemy had let fall as he fled; somewhat, for that we
marched with such speed, but more for that they lay so thick and cross
one on the other.

Being returned, we made our stand near the midst of the Market Place,
where a tree groweth hard by the Cross; whence our Captain sent some
of our men to stay the ringing of the alarm bell, which had continued
all this while: but the church being very strongly built and fast
shut, they could not without firing (which our Captain forbade) get
into the steeple where the bell rung.

In the meantime, our Captain having taken two or three Spaniards in
their flight, commanded them to shew him the Governor's House, where
he understood was the ordinary place of unlading the moiles [mules] of
all the treasure which came from Panama by the King's appointment.
Although the silver only was kept there; the gold, pearl, and jewels
(being there once entered by the King's officer) was carried from
thence to the King's Treasure House not far off, being a house very
strongly built of lime and alone, for the safe keeping thereof.

At our coming to the Governor's House we found the great door where
the mules do usually unlade, even then opened, a candle lighted upon
the top of the stairs; and a fair gennet ready saddled, either for the
Governor himself, or some other of his household to carry it after
him. By means of this light we saw a huge heap of silver in that
nether [lower] room; being a pile of bars of silver of, as near as we
could guess, seventy feet in length, of ten feet in breadth, and
twelve feet in height, piled up against the wall, each bar was between
thirty-five and forty pounds in weight.

At sight hereof, our Captain commanded straightly that none of us
should touch a bar of silver; but stand upon our weapons, because the
town was full of people, and there was in the King's Treasure House
near the water side, more gold and jewels than all our four pinnaces
could carry: which we should presently set some in hand to break open,
notwithstanding the Spaniards report the strength of it.

We were no sooner returned to our strength, but there was a report
brought by some of our men that our pinnaces were in danger to be
taken; and that if we ourselves got not aboard before day, we should
be oppressed with multitude both of soldiers and towns-people. This
report had his ground from one DIEGO a Negro, who, in the time of the
first conflict, came and called to our pinnaces, to know "whether they
were Captain DRAKE'S?" And upon answer received, continued entreating
to be taken aboard, though he had first three or four shot made at
him, until at length they fetched him; and learned by him, that, not
past eight days before our arrival, the King had sent thither some 150
soldiers to guard the town against the Cimaroons, and the town at this
time was full of people beside: which all the rather believed, because
it agreed with the report of the Negroes, which we took before at the
Isle of Pinos. And therefore our Captain sent his brother and JOHN
OXNAM to understand the truth thereof.

They found our men which we left in our pinnaces much frightened, by
reason that they saw great troops and companies running up and down,
with matches lighted, some with other weapons, crying /Que gente? Que
gente?/ which not having been at the first conflict, but coming from
the utter ends of the town (being at least as big as Plymouth), came
many times near us; and understanding that we were English, discharged
their pieces and ran away.

Presently after this, a mighty shower of rain, with a terrible storm
of thunder and lightning, fell, which poured down so vehemently (as it
usually doth in those countries) that before we could recover the
shelter of a certain shade or penthouse at the western end of the
King's Treasure House, (which seemeth to have been built there of
purpose to avoid sun and rain) some of our bow-strings were wet, and
some of our match and powder hurt! Which while we were careful of, to
refurnish and supply; divers of our men harping on the reports lately
brought us, were muttering of the forces of the town, which our
Captain perceiving, told them, that "He had brought them to the mouth
of the Treasure of the World, if they would want it, they might
henceforth blame nobody but themselves!"

And therefore as soon as the storm began to assuage of his fury (which
was a long half hour) willing to give his men no longer leisure to
demur of those doubts, nor yet allow the enemy farther respite to
gather themselves together, he stept forward commanding his brother,
with JOHN OXNAM and the company appointed them, to break the King's
Treasure House: the rest to follow him to keep the strength of the
Market Place, till they had despatched the business for which they

But as he stepped forward, his strength and sight and speech failed
him, and he began to faint for want of blood, which, as then we
perceived, had, in great quantity, issued upon the sand, out of a
wound received in his leg in the first encounter, whereby though he
felt some pain, yet (for that he perceived divers of the company,
having already gotten many good things, to be very ready to take all
occasions, of winding themselves out of that conceited danger) would
he not have it known to any, till this his fainting, against his will,
bewrayed it: the blood having first filled the very prints which our
footsteps made, to the great dismay of all our company, who thought it
not credible that one man should be able to spare so much blood and

And therefore even they, which were willing to have ventured the most
for so fair a booty, would in no case hazard their Captain's life; but
(having given him somewhat to drink wherewith he recovered himself,
and having bound his scarf about his leg, for the stopping of the
blood) entreated him to be content to go with them aboard, there to
have his wound searched and dressed, and then to return on shore again
if he thought good.

This when they could not persuade him unto (as who knew it to be
utterly impossible, at least very unlikely, that ever they should, for
that time, return again, to recover the state in which they now were:
and was of opinion, that it were more honourable for himself, to
jeopard his life for so great a benefit, than to leave off so high an
enterprise unperformed), they joined altogether and with force mingled
with fair entreaty, they bare him aboard his pinnace, and so abandoned
a most rich spoil for the present, only to preserve their Captain's
life: and being resolved of him, that while they enjoyed his presence,
and had him to command them, they might recover wealth sufficient; but
if once they lost him, they should hardly be able to recover home. No,
not with that which they had gotten already.

Thus we embarked by break of day (29th July), having besides our
Captain, many of our men wounded, though none slain but one Trumpeter:
whereupon though our surgeons were busily employed, in providing
remedies and salves for their wounds: yet the main care of our Captain
was respected by all the rest; so that before we departed out of the
harbour for the more comfort of our company, we took the aforesaid
ship of wines without great resistance.

But before we had her free of the haven, they of the town had made
means to bring one of their culverins, which we had dismounted, so as
they made a shot at us, but hindered us not from carrying forth the
prize to the Isle of /Bastimentos/, or the Isle of Victuals: which is
an island that lieth without the bay to the westward, about a league
off the town, where we stayed the two next days, to cure our wounded
men, and refresh ourselves, in the goodly gardens which we there found
abounding with great store of all dainty roots and fruits; besides
great plenty of poultry and other fowls, no less strange then

Shortly upon our first arrival in this island, the Governor and the
rest of his Assistants in the town, as we afterwards understood, sent
unto our Captain, a proper gentleman, of mean stature, good
complexion, and a fair spoken, a principal soldier of the late sent
garrison, to view in what state we were. At his coming he protested
"He came to us, of mere good will, for that we had attempted so great
and incredible a matter with so few men: and that, at the first, they
feared that we had been French, at whose hands they knew they should
find no mercy: but after they perceived by our arrows, that we were
Englishmen, their fears were the less, for that they knew, that though
we took the treasure of the place, yet we would not use cruelty toward
their persons. But albeit this his affection gave him cause enough, to
come aboard such, whose virtue he so honoured: yet the Governor also
had not only consented to his coming, but directly sent him, upon
occasion that divers of the town affirmed, said he, 'that they knew
our Captain, who the last two years had been often on our coast, and
had always used their persons very well.' And therefore desired to
know, first, Whether our Captain was the same Captain DRAKE or not?
and next, Because many of their men were wounded with our arrows,
whether they were poisoned or not? and how their wounds might best be
cured? lastly, What victuals we wanted, or other necessaries? of which
the Governor promised by him to supply and furnish us, as largely as
he durst."

Our Captain, although he thought this soldier but a spy: yet used him
very courteously, and answered him to his Governor's demands: that "He
was the same DRAKE whom they meant! It was never his manner to poison
his arrows! They might cure their wounded by ordinary surgery! As for
wants, he knew the Island of /Bastimentos/ has sufficient, and could
furnish him if he listed! But he wanted nothing but some of that
special commodity which that country yielded, to content himself and
his company." And therefore he advised the Governor "to hold open his
eyes! for before he departed, if GOD lent him life and leave, he meant
to reap some of their harvest, which they get out of the earth, and
sent into Spain to trouble all the earth!"

To this answer unlooked for, this gentleman replied, "If he might,
without offence, move such a question, what should then be the cause
of our departing from that town at this time, where was above 360 tons
of silver ready for the Fleet, and much more gold in value, resting in
iron chests in the King's Treasure House?"

But when our Captain had shewed him the true cause of his unwilling
retreat aboard, he acknowledged that "we had no less reason in
departing, than courage in attempting": and no doubt did easily see,
that it was not for the town to seek revenge of us, by manning forth
such frigates or other vessels as they had; but better to content
themselves and provide for their own defence.

Thus, with great favour and courteous entertainment, besides such
gifts from our Captain as most contented him, after dinner, he was in
such sort dismissed, to make report of what he had seen, that he
protested, "he was never so much honoured of any in his life."

After his departure, the Negro formentioned, being examined more
fully, confirmed this report of the gold and the silver; with many
other intelligences of importance: especially how we might have gold
and silver enough, if we would by means of the Cimaroons, whom though
he had betrayed divers times (being used thereto by his Masters) so
that he knew they would kill him, if they got him: yet if our Captain
would undertake his protection, he durst adventure his life, because
he knew our Captain's name was most precious and highly honoured by

This report ministered occasion to further consultation: for which,
because this place seemed not the safest; as being neither the
healthiest nor quietest; the next day, in the morning, we all set our
course for the Isle of /Pinos/ or Port Plenty, where we had left our
ships, continuing all that day, and the next till towards night,
before we recovered it.

We were the longer in this course, for that our Captain sent away his
brother and ELLIS HIXOM to the westward, in search of the River of
Chagres, where himself had been the year before, and yet was careful
to gain more notice of; it being a river which trendeth to the
southward, within six leagues of Panama, where is a little town called
Venta Cruz [Venta de Cruzes], whence all the treasure, that was
usually brought thither from Panama by mules, was embarked in frigates
[sailing] down that river into the North sea, and so to Nombre de

It ebbeth and floweth not far into the land, and therefore it asketh
three days' rowing with a fine pinnace to pass [up] from the mouth to
Venta Cruz; but one day and a night serveth to return down the river.

At our return to our ships (1st August), in our consultation, Captain
RANSE (forecasting divers doubts of our safe continuance upon that
coast, being now discovered) was willing to depart; and our Captain no
less willing to dismiss him: and therefore as soon as our pinnaces
returned from Chagres (7th August) with such advertisement as they
were sent for, about eight days before; Captain RANSE took his leave,
leaving us at the isle aforesaid, where we had remained five or six

In which meantime, having put all things in a readiness, our captain
resolved, with his two ships and three pinnaces to go to Cartagena;
whither in sailing, we spent some six days by reason of the calms
which came often upon us: but all this time we attempted nothing that
we might have done by the way, neither at [Santiago de] Tolou nor
otherwhere, because we would not be discovered.

We came to anchor with our two ships in the evening [13th August], in
seven fathom water, between the island of Charesha and St. Bernards
[San Bernardo].

Our Captain led the three pinnaces about the island, into the harbour
of Cartagena; where at the very entry, he found a frigate at anchor,
aboard which was only one old man; who being demanded, "Where the rest
of his company was?" answered, "That they were gone ashore in their
gundeloe [? gondola or ship's boat], that evening, to fight about a
mistress": and voluntarily related to our Captain that, "two hours
before night, there past by them a pinnace, with sail and oars, as
fast as ever they could row, calling to him 'Whether there had not
been any English or Frenchmen there lately?' and upon answer that,
'There had been none!' they bid them 'look to themselves!' That,
within an hour that this pinnace was come to the utterside [outside]
of Cartagena, there were many great pieces shot off, whereupon one
going to top, to descry what might be the cause? espied, over the
land, divers frigates and small shipping bringing themselves within
the Castle."

This report our Captain credited, the rather for that himself had
heard the report of the ordnance at sea; and perceived sufficiently,
that he was now descried. Notwithstanding in farther examination of
this old mariner, having understood, that there was, within the next
point, a great ship of Seville, which had here discharged her loading,
and rid now with her yards across, being bound the next morning for
Santo Domingo: our Captain took this old man into his pinnace to
verify that which he had informed, and rowed towards this ship, which
as we came near it, hailed us, asking, "Whence our shallops were?"

We answered, "From Nombre de Dios!"

Straightway they railed and reviled! We gave no heed to their words,
but every pinnace, according to our Captain's order, one on the
starboard bow, the other on the starboard quarter, and the Captain in
the midship on the larboard side, forthwith boarded her; though we had
some difficulty to enter by reason of her height, being of 240 tons.
But as soon as we entered upon the decks, we threw down the grates and
spardecks, to prevent the Spaniards form annoying us with their close
fights: who then perceiving that we were possessed of their ship,
stowed themselves all in hold with their weapons, except two or three
yonkers, which were found afore the beetes: when having light out of
our pinnaces, we found no danger of the enemy remaining, we cut their
cables at halse, and with our three pinnaces, towed her without the
island into the sound right afore the down, without [beyond the]
danger of their great shot.

Meanwhile, the town, having intelligence hereof, or by their watch,
took the alarm, rang out their bells, shot off about thirty pieces of
great ordnance, put all their men in a readiness, horse and foot, came
down to the very point of the wood, and discharged their calivers, to
impeach us if they might, in going forth.

The next morning (14th August) our ships took two frigates, in which
there were two, who called themselves King's /Scrivanos/, the one of
Cartagena, the other of Veragua, with seven mariners and two Negroes;
who had been at Nombre de Dios and were now bound for Cartagena with
double [? duplicate] letters of advice, to certify them that Captain
DRAKE had been at Nombre de Dios, had taken it; and had it not been
that he was hurt with some blessed shot, by all likelihood he had
sacked it. He was yet still upon the coast; they should therefore
carefully prepare for him!

After that our Captain had brought out all his fleet together, at the
/Scrivanos'/ entreaties, he was content to do them all favour, in
setting them and all their companies on shore; and so bare thence with
the islands of St. Bernards, about three leagues of the town: where we
found great store of fish for our refreshing.

Here, our Captain considering that he was now discovered upon the
chieftest places of all the coast, and yet not meaning to leave it
till he had found the Cimaroons, and "made" his voyage, as he had
conceived; which would require some length of time, and sure manning
of his pinnaces: he determined with himself, to burn one of the ships,
and make the other a Storehouse; that his pinnaces (which could not
otherwise) might be thoroughly manned, and so he might be able to
abide any time.

But knowing the affection of his company, how loath they were to leave
either of their ships, being both so good sailers and so well
furnished; he purposed in himself by some policy, to make them most
willing to effect that he intended. And therefore sent for one THOMAS
MOONE, who was Carpenter in the /Swan/, and asking him into his cabin,
chargeth him to conceal for a time, a piece of service, which he must
in any case consent to do aboard his own ship: that was, in the middle
of the second watch, to go down secretly into the well of the ship,
and with a spike-gimlet, to bore three holes, as near the keel as he
could, and lay something against it, that the force of the water
entering, might make no great noise, nor be discovered by a boiling

THOMAS MOONE at the hearing hereof, being utterly dismayed, desired to
know "What cause there might be, to move him to sink so good a bark of
his own, new and strong; and that, by /his/ means, who had been in two
so rich and gainful voyages in her with himself heretofore: If his
brother, the Master, and the rest of the company [numbering 26] should
know of such his fact, he thought verily they would kill him."

But when our Captain had imparted to him his cause, and had persuaded
him with promise that it should not be known, till all of them should
be glad of it: he understood it, and did it accordingly.

The next morning [15th August] our Captain took his pinnace very
early, purposing to go a fishing, for that there is very great store
on the coast; and falling aboard the /Swan/, calleth for his brother
to go with him, who rising suddenly, answereth that "He would follow
presently, or if it would please him to stay a very little, he would
attend him."

Our Captain perceiving the feat wrought, would not hasten him; but in
rowing away, demanded of them, "Why their bark was so deep?" as making
no great account of it. But, by occasion of this demand, his brother
sent one down to the Steward, to know "Whether there were any water in
the ship? Or what other cause might be?"

The Steward, hastily stepping down at his usual scuttle, was wet up to
his waist, and shifting with more haste to come up again as if the
water had followed him, cried out that "The ship was full of water!"
There was no need to hasten the company, some to the pump, others to
search for the leak, which the Captain of the bark seeing they did, on
all hands, very willingly; he followed his brother, and certified him
of "the strange chance befallen them that night; that whereas they had
not pumped twice in six weeks before, now they had six feet of water
in hold: and therefore he desireth leave from attending him in
fishing, to intend the search and remedy of the leak." And when our
Captain with his company preferred [offered] to go to help them; he
answered, "They had men enough aboard, and prayed him to continue his
fishing, that they might have some part of it for their dinner." Thus
returning, he found his company had taken great pain, but had freed
the water very little: yet such was their love to the bark, as our
Captain well knew, that they ceased not, but to the utmost of their
strength, laboured all that they might till three in the afternoon; by
which time, the company perceiving, that (though they had been
relieved by our Captain himself and many of his company) yet they were
not able to free above a foot and a half of water, and could have no
likelihood of finding the leak, had now a less liking of her than
before, and greater content to hear of some means for remedy.

Whereupon our Captain (consulting them what they thought best to be
done) found that they had more desire to have all as he thought fit,
than judgement to conceive any means of remedy. And therefore he
propounded, that himself would go in the pinnace, till he could
provide him some handsome frigate; and that his brother should be
Captain in the admiral [flag-ship] and the Master should also be there
placed with him, instead of this: which seeing they could not save, he
would have fired that the enemy might never recover her: but first all
the pinnaces should be brought aboard her, that every one might take
out of her whatever they lacked or liked.

This, though the company at first marvelled at; yet presently it was
put in execution and performed that night.

Our Captain had his desire, and men enough for his pinnaces.

The next morning (16th August) we resolved to seek out some fit place,
in the Sound of Darien, where we might safely leave our ship at
anchor, not discoverable by the enemy, who thereby might imagine us
quite departed from the coast, and we the meantime better follow our
purposes with our pinnaces; of which our Captain would himself take
two to Rio Grande [Magdalena], and the third leave with his brother to
seek the Cimaroons.

Upon this resolution, we set sail presently for the said Sound; which
within five days [21st August), we recovered: abstaining of purpose
from all such occasion, as might hinder our determination, or bewray
[betray] our being upon the coast.

As soon as we arrived where our Captain intended, and had chosen a fit
and convenient road out of all trade [to or from any Mart] for our
purpose; we reposed ourselves there, for some fifteen days, keeping
ourselves close, that the bruit of our being upon the coast might

But in the meantime, we were not idle: for beside such ordinary works,
as our Captain, every month did usually inure us to, about the
trimming and setting of his pinnaces, for their better sailing and
rowing: he caused us to rid a large plot of ground, both of trees and
brakes, and to build us houses sufficient for all our lodging, and one
especially for all our public meetings; wherein the Negro which fled
to us before, did us great service, as being well acquainted with the
country, and their means of building. Our archers made themselves
butts to shoot at, because we had many that delighted in that
exercise, and wanted not a fletcher to keep our bows and arrows in
order. The rest of the company, every one as he liked best, made his
disport at bowls, quoits, keiles, etc. For our Captain allowed one
half of the company to pass their time thus, every other day
interchangeable; the other half being enjoined to the necessary works,
about our ship and pinnaces, and the providing of fresh victuals,
fish, fowl, hogs, deer, conies, etc., whereof there is great plenty.
Here our smiths set up their forge, as they used, being furnished out
of England, with anvil, iron, coals, and all manner of necessaries,
which stood us in great stead.

At the end of these fifteen days (5th September), our Captain leaving
his ship in his brother's charge, to keep all things in order; himself
took with him, according to his former determination, two pinnaces for
Rio Grande, and passing by Cartagena but out of sight, when we were
within two leagues of the river, we landed (8th September), to the
westward on the Main, where we saw great store of cattle. There we
found some Indians, who asking us in friendly sort, in broken Spanish,
"What we would have?" and understanding that we desired fresh victuals
in traffic; they took such cattle for us as we needed, with ease and
so readily, as if they had a special commandment over them, whereas
they would not abide us to come near them. And this also they did
willingly, because our Captain, according to his custom, contented
them for their pains, with such things as they account greatly of; in
such sort that they promised, we should have there, of them at any
time what we would.

The same day, we departed thence to Rio Grande [Magdalena], where we
entered about three of the clock in the afternoon. There are two
entries into this river, of which we entered the western most called
/Boca Chica/. The freshet [current] is so great, that we being half a
league from the mouth of it, filled fresh water for our beverage.

From three o'clock till dark at night, we rowed up the stream; but the
current was so strong downwards, that we got but two leagues, all that
time. We moored our pinnaces to a tree that night: for that presently,
with the closing of the evening, there fell a monstrous shower of
rain, with such strange and terrible claps of thunder, and flashes of
lightning, as made us not a little to marvel at, although our Captain
had been acquainted with such like in that country, and told us that
they continue seldom longer than three-quarters of an hour.

This storm was no sooner ceast, but it became very calm, and therewith
there came such an innumerable multitude of a kind of flies of that
country, called mosquitoes, like our gnats, which bit so spitefully,
that we could not rest all that night, nor find means to defend
ourselves from them, by reason of the heat of the country. The best
remedy we then found against them, was the juice of lemons.

At the break of day (9th September), we departed, rowing in the eddy,
and hauling up by the trees where the eddy failed, with great labour,
by spells, without ceasing, each company their half-hour glass:
without meeting any, till about three o'clock in the afternoon, by
which time we could get but five leagues ahead.

Then we espied a canoe, with two Indians fishing in the river; but we
spake not to them, lest so we might be descried: nor they to us, as
taking us to be Spaniards. But within an hour after, we espied certain
houses, on the other side of the river, whose channel is twenty-five
fathom deep, and its breadth so great, that a man can scantly be
discerned from side to side. Yet a Spaniard which kept those houses,
had espied our pinnaces; and thinking we had been his countrymen, made
a smoke, for a signal to turn that way, as being desirous to speak
with us. After that, we espying this smoke, had made with it, and were
half the river over, he wheaved [waved] to us, with his hat and his
long hanging sleeves, to come ashore.

But as we drew nearer to him, and he discerned that we were not those
he looked for: he took his heels, and fled from his houses, which we
found to be, five in number, all full of white rusk, dried bacon, that
country cheese (like Holland cheese in fashion, but far more delicate
in taste, of which they send into Spain as special presents) many
sorts of sweetmeats, and conserves; with great store of sugar: being
provided to serve the Fleet returning to Spain.

With this store of victuals, we loaded our pinnaces; by the shutting
in of the day, we were ready to depart; for that we hastened the
rather, by reason of an intelligence given us by certain Indian women
which we found in those houses: that the frigates (these are
ordinarily thirty, or upwards, which usually transport the
merchandise, sent out of Spain to Cartagena from thence to these
houses, and so in great canoes up hence into Nuevo Reyno, for which
the river running many hundred of leagues within the land serveth very
fitly: and return in exchange, the gold and treasure, silver,
victuals, and commodities, which that kingdom yields abundantly) were
not yet returned from Cartagena, since the first alarm they took of
our being there.

As we were going aboard our pinnaces from these Storehouses (10th
September), the Indians of a great town called Villa del Rey, some two
miles distant from the water's side where we landed, were brought down
by the Spaniards into the bushes, and shot arrows; but we rowed down
the stream with the current (for that the wind was against us) only
one league; and because it was night, anchored till the morning, when
we rowed down to the mouth of the river, where we unloaded all our
provisions, and cleansed our pinnaces, according to our Captain's
custom, and took it in again, and the same day went to the Westward.

In this return, we descried a ship, a barque, and a frigate, of which
the ship and frigate went for Cartagena, but for the Barque was bound
to the Northwards, with the wind easterly, so that we imagined she had
some gold or treasure going for Spain: therefore we gave her chase,
but taking her, and finding nothing of importance in her,
understanding that she was bound for sugar and hides, we let her go;
and having a good gale of wind, continued our former course to our
ship and company.

In the way between Cartagena and Tolou, we took [11th September] five
or six frigates, which were laden from Tolou, with live hogs, hens,
and maize which we call Guinea wheat. Of these, having gotten what
intelligence they could give, of their preparations for us, and divers
opinions of us, we dismissed all the men; only staying two frigates
with us, because they were so well stored with good victuals.

Within three days after, we arrived at the place which our Captain
chose, at first, to leave his ship in, which was called by our
Captain, Port Plenty; by reason we brought to thither continually all
manner store of good victuals, which we took, going that way by sea,
for the victualling of Cartagena and Nombre de Dios as also the Fleets
going and coming out of Spain. So that if we had been two thousand,
yea three thousand persons, we might with our pinnaces easily have
provided them sufficient victuals of wine, meal, rusk; /cassavi/ (a
kind of bread made of a root called Yucca, whose juice is poison, but
the substance good and wholesome), dried beef, dried fish, live sheep,
live hogs, abundance of hens, besides the infinite store of dainty
fresh fish, very easily to be taken every day: insomuch that we were
forced to build four several magazines or storehouses, some ten, some
twenty leagues asunder; some in islands, some in the Main, providing
ourselves in divers places, that though the enemy should, with force,
surprise any one, yet we might be sufficiently furnished, till we had
"made" our voyage as we did hope. In building of these, our Negro's
help was very much, as having a special skill, in the speedy erection
of such houses.

This our store was much, as thereby we relieved not only ourselves and
the Cimaroons while they were with us; but also two French ships in
extreme want.

For in our absence, Captain JOHN DRAKE, having one of our pinnaces, as
was appointed, went in with the Main, and as he rowed aloof the shore,
where he was directed by DIEGO the Negro aforesaid, which willingly
came unto us at Nombre de Dios, he espied certain of the Cimaroons;
with whom he dealt so effectually, that in conclusion he left two of
our men with their leader, and brought aboard two of theirs: agreeing
that they should meet him again the next day, at a river midway
between the Cabecas [Cabeza is Spanish for Headland] and our ships;
which they named Rio Diego.

These two being very sensible men, chosen out by their commander
[chief], did, with all reverence and respect, declare unto our
Captain, that their nation conceited great joy of his arrival, because
they knew him to be an enemy to the Spaniards, not only by his late
being in Nombre de Dios, but also by his former voyages; and therefore
were ready to assist and favour his enterprises against his and their
enemies to the uttermost: and to that end their captain and company
did stay at this present near the mouth of Rio Diego, to attend what
answer and order should be given them; that they would have marched by
land, even to this place, but that the way is very long, and more
troublesome, by reason of many steep mountains, deep rivers, and thick
brakes: desiring therefore, that it might please our Captain to take
some order, as he thought best, with all convenient speed in this

Our Captain considering the speech of these persons, and weighing it
with his former intelligences had not only Negroes, but Spaniards
also, whereof he was always very careful: as also conferring it with
his brother's informations of the great kindness that they shewed him,
being lately with them: after he had heard the opinions of those of
best service with him, "what were fittest to be done presently?"
resolved himself with his brother, and the two Cimaroons, in his two
pinnaces, to go toward this river. As he did the same evening, giving
order, that the ship and the rest of his fleet should the next morning
follow him, because there was a place of as great safety and
sufficiency, which his brother had found out near the river. The
safety of it consisted, not only in that which is common all along
that coast from Tolou to Nombre de Dios, being above sixty leagues,
that it is a most goodly and plentiful country, and yet inhabited not
with one Spaniard, or any for the Spaniards: but especially in that it
lieth among a great many of goodly islands full of trees. Where,
though there be channels, yet there are such rocks and shoals, that no
man can enter by night without great danger; nor by day without
discovery, whereas our ships might be hidden within the trees.

The next day (14th September) we arrived at this river appointed,
where we found the Cimaroons according to promise: the rest of their
number were a mile up, in a wood by the river's side. There after we
had given them entertainment, and received good testimonies of their
joy and good will towards us, we took two more of them into our
pinnace, leaving our two men with the rest of theirs, to march by
land, to another river called Rio Guana, with intent there to meet
with another company of Cimaroons which were now in the mountains.

So we departed that day from Rio Diego, with our pinnaces, towards our
ship, as marvelling that she followed us not as was appointed.

But two days after (16th September), we found her in the place where
we left her; but in far other state, being much spoiled and in great
danger, by reason of a tempest she had in our absence.

As soon as we could trim our ship, being some two days, our Captain
sent away (18th September) one of his pinnaces, towards the bottom of
the bay, amongst the shoals and sandy islands, to sound out the
channel, for the bringing in of our ship nearer the Main.

The next day (19th September) we followed, and were with wary
pilotage, directed safely into the best channel, with much ado to
recover the road, among so many flats and shoals. It was near about
five leagues from the Cativaas, betwixt an island and the Main, where
we moored our ship. The island was not above four cables in length
from the Main, being in quantity some three acres of ground, flat and
very full of trees and bushes.

We were forced to spend the best part of three days, after our
departure from our Port Plenty, before we were quiet in this new found
road, which we had but newly entered, when our two men and the former
troop of Cimaroons, with twelve others whom they had met in the
mountains, came (23rd September) in sight over against our ship, on
the Main. Whence we fetched them all aboard, to their great comfort
and our content: they rejoicing that they should have some fit
opportunity to wreak their wrongs on the Spaniards; we hoping that now
our voyage should be bettered.

At our first meeting, when our Captain had moved them, to shew him the
means which they had to furnish him with gold and silver; they
answered plainly, that "had they known gold had been his desire; they
would have satisfied him with store, which, for the present, they
could not do: because the rivers, in which they sunk great store
(which they had taken from the Spaniards, rather to despite them than
for love of gold) were now so high, that they could not get it out of
such depths for him; and because the Spaniards, in these rainy months,
do not use [are not accustomed] to carry their treasure by land."

This answer although it were somewhat unlooked for, yet nothing
discontented us, but rather persuaded us farther of their honest and
faithful meaning toward us. Therefore our Captain to entertain these
five months, commanded all our ordnance and artillery ashore, with all
our other provisions: sending his pinnaces to the Main, to bring over
great trees, to make a fort upon the same island, for the planting of
all our ordnance therein, and for our safeguard, if the enemy, in all
this time, should chance to come.

Our Cimaroons (24th September) cut down Palmito boughs and branches,
and with wonderful speed raised up two large houses for all our
company. Our fort was then made, by reason of the place, triangle-
wise, with main timber, and earth of which the trench yielded us good
store, so that we made it thirteen feet in height. [Fort Diego.]

But after we had continued upon this island fourteen days, our Captain
having determined, with three pinnaces, to go for Cartagena left (7th
October), his brother, JOHN DRAKE, to govern these who remained behind
with the Cimaroons to finish the fort which he had begun: for which he
appointed him to fetch boards and planks, as many as his pinnaces
would carry, from the prize we took at Rio Grande, and left at the
Cativaas, where she drove ashore and wrecked in our absence: but now
she might serve commodiously, to supply our use, in making platforms
for our ordnance. Thus our Captain and his brother took their leave;
the one to the Eastward, and the other to the Cativaas.

That night, we came to an isle, which he called Spur-kite land,
because we found there great store of such a kind of bird in shape,
but very delicate, of which we killed and roasted many; staying there
till the next day midnoon (8th October), when we departed thence. And
about four o'clock recovered a big island in our way, where we stayed
all night, by reason that there was great store of fish, and
especially of a great kind of shell-fish of a foot long. We called
them whelks.

The next morning (9th October), we were clear of these islands and
shoals, and hauled off into the sea. About four days after (13th
October), near the island of St. Bernards, we chased two frigates
ashore; and recovering one of these islands, made our abode there some
two days (14th-15th October) to wash our pinnaces and to take of the

Thence we went towards Tolou, and that day (16th October) landed near
the town in a garden, where we found certain Indians, who delivered us
their bows and arrows, and gathered for us such fruit as the garden
did yield, being many sorts of dainty fruits and roots, [we] still
contenting them for what we received. Our Captain's principal intent
in taking this and other places by the way, not being for any other
cause, but only to learn true intelligence of the state of the country
and of the Fleets.

Hence we departed presently, and rowed towards Charesha, the island of
Cartagena; and entered in at Bocha Chica, and having the wind large,
we sailed in towards the city, and let fall our grappers betwixt the
island and the Main, right over against the goodly Garden Island. In
which, our Captain would not suffer us to land, notwithstanding our
importunate desire, because he knew, it might be dangerous: for that
they are wont to send soldiers thither, when they know of any Men-of-
war on the coast; which we found accordingly. For within three hours
after, passing by the point of the island, we had a volley of a
hundred shot from them, and yet there was but one of our men hurt.

This evening (16th October) we departed to sea; and the day following
(17th October), being some two leagues off the harbour, we took a
bark, and found that the Captain and his wife with the better sort of
passengers, had forsaken her, and were gone ashore in the Gundeloe: by
occasion whereof we boarded without resistance, though they were well
provided with swords and targets and some small shot, besides four
iron bases. She was 50 tons, having ten mariners, five or six Negroes,
great store of soap and sweet meat, bound from St. Domingo to
Cartagena. This Captain left behind him a silk ancient [flag] with his
arms; as might be thought, in hasty departing.

The next day (18th October), we sent all the company ashore to seek
their masters, saving a young Negro two or three years old, which we
brought away; but kept the bark, and in her, bore into the mouth of
Cartagena harbour, where we anchored.

That afternoon, certain horsemen came down to the point by the wood
side, and with the /Scrivano/ fore-mentioned, came towards our bark
with a flag of truce, desiring of our Captain's safe conduct for his
coming and going; the which being granted, he came aboard us, giving
our Captain "great thanks for his manifold favours, etc., promising
that night before daybreak, to bring as much victuals as they would
desire, what shift so ever he made, or what danger so ever incurred of
law and punishment." But this fell out to be nothing but a device of
the Governor forced upon the /Scrivano/, to delay time, till they
might provide themselves of sufficient strength to entrap us: for
which this fellow, by his smooth speech, was thought a fit means. So
by sun rising, (19th October), when we perceived his words but words,
we put to sea to the westward of the island, some three leagues off,
where we lay at hull the rest of all that day and night.

The next day (20th October), in the afternoon, there came out of
Cartagena, two frigates bound for St. Domingo, the one of 58, the
other of 12 tons, having nothing in them but ballast. We took them
within a league of the town, and came to anchor with them within sacre
shot of the east Bulwark. There were in those frigates some twelve or
thirteen common mariners, which entreated to be set ashore. To them
our Captain gave the greater frigate's gundeloe, and dismissed them.

The next morning (21st October) when they came down to the western
point with a flag of truce, our Captain manned one of his pinnaces and
rowed ashore. When we were within a cable's length of the shore, the
Spaniards fled, hiding themselves in the woods, as being afraid of our
ordnance; but indeed to draw us on to land confidently, and to presume
of our strength. Our Captain commanding the grapnell to be cast out of
the stern, veered the pinnace ashore, and as soon as she touched the
sand, he alone leapt ashore in their sight, to declare that he durst
set his foot aland: but stayed not among them, to let them know, that
though he had not sufficient forces to conquer them, yet he had
sufficient judgment to take heed of them.

And therefore perceiving their intent, as soon as our Captain was
aboard, we hauled off upon our grapner and rid awhile.

They presently came forth upon the sand, and sent a youth, as with a
message from the Governor, to know, "What our intent was, to stay upon
the coast?"

Our Captain answered: "He meant to traffic with them; for he had tin,
pewter, cloth, and other merchandise that they needed."

The youth swam back again with this answer, and was presently
returned, with another message: that, "The King had forbidden to
traffic with any foreign nation for any commodities, except powder and
shot; of which, if he had any store, they would be his merchants."

He answered, that "He was come from his country, to exchange his
commodities for gold and silver, and is not purposed to return without
his errand. They are like, in his opinion, to have little rest, if
that, by fair means, they would not traffic with him."

He gave this messenger a fair shirt for a reward, and so returned him:
who rolled his shirt about his head and swam very speedily.

We heard no answer all that day; and therefore toward night we went
aboard our frigates and reposed ourselves, setting and keeping very
orderly all that night our watch, with great and small shot.

The next morning (22nd October) the wind, which had been westerly in
the evening, altered to the Eastward.

About the dawning of the day, we espied two sails turning towards us,
whereupon our Captain weighed with his pinnaces, leaving the two
frigates unmanned. But when we were come somewhat nigh them, the wind
calmed, and we were fain to row towards them, till that approaching
very nigh, we saw many heads peering over board. For, as we perceived,
these two frigates were manned and set forth out of Cartagena, to
fight with us, and, at least, to impeach or busy us; whilst by some
means or other they might recover the frigates from us.

But our Captain prevented both their drifts. For commanding JOHN OXNAM
to stay with the one pinnace, to entertain these two Men-of-war;
himself in the other made much speed, that he got to his frigates
which he had left at anchor; and caused the Spaniards, (who in the
meantime had gotten aboard in a small canoe, thinking to have towed
them within the danger of their shot) to make the greater haste
thence, than they did thither.

For he found that in shifting thence, some of them were fain to swim
aland (the canoe not being able to receive them) and had left their
apparel, some their rapiers and targets, some their flasks and
calivers behind them; although they were towing away of one of them.

Therefore considering that we could not man them, we sunk the one, and
burnt the other, giving them to understand by this, that we perceived
their secret practices.

This being done, he returned to JOHN OXNAM; who all this while lay by
the Men-of-war without proffering to fight. And as soon as our Captain
was come up to these frigates, the wind blew much for the sea, so
that, we being betwixt the shore and them, were to a manner forced to
bear room into the harbour before them, to the great joy of the
Spaniards; who beheld it; in supposing, that we would still have fled
before them. But as soon as we were in the harbour, and felt smooth
water, our pinnaces, as we were assured of, getting the wind, we
sought, with them upon the advantage, so that after a few shot
exchanged, and a storm rising, they were contented to press no nearer.
Therefore as they let fall their anchors, we presently let drop our
grapner in the wind of them; which the Spanish soldiers seeing,
considering the disadvantage of the wind, the likelihood of the storm
to continue, and small hope of doing any good, they were glad to
retire themselves to the town.

But by reason of the foul and tempestuous weather, we rode therein
four days, feeling great cold, by reason we had such sore rains with
westerly wind, and so little succour in our pinnaces.

The fifth day (27th October) there came in a frigate from the sea,
which seeing us make towards her, ran herself ashore, unhanging her
rudder and taking away her sails, that she might not easily be carried
away. But when we were come up to her, we perceived about a hundred
horse and foot, with their furniture, come down to the point of the
Main, where we interchanged some shot with them. One of our great shot
passed so near a brave cavalier of theirs, that thereby they were
occasioned to advise themselves, and retreat into the woods: where
they might sufficiently defend and rescue the frigate from us, and
annoy us also, if we stayed long about her.

Therefore we concluded to go to sea again, putting forth through /Boca
Chica/, with intent to take down our masts, upon hope of fair weather,
and to ride under the rocks called /Las Serenas/, which are two
leagues off at sea, as we had usually done aforetime, so that they
could not discern us from the rocks. But, there, the sea was mightily
grown, that we were forced to take the harbour again; where we
remained six days, notwithstanding the Spaniards grieved greatly at
our abode there so long.

They put (2nd November) another device in practice to endanger us.

For they sent forth a great shallop, a fine gundeloe, and a great
canoe, with certain Spaniards with shot, and many Indians with
poisoned arrows, as it seemed, with intent to begin some fight, and
then to fly. For as soon as we rowed toward them and interchanged
shot, they presently retired and went ashore into the woods, where an
ambush of some sixty shot were laid for us: besides two pinnaces and a
frigate warping towards us, which were manned as the rest. They
attempted us very boldly, being assisted by those others, which from
out of the wood, had gotten aboard the gundeloe and canoe, and seeing
us bearing from them (which we did in respect of the /ambuscado/),
they encouraged themselves and assured their fellows of the day.

But our Captain weighing this their attempt, and being out of danger
of their shot from the land, commanding his other pinnace to be
brought ahead of him, and to let fall their grapners each ahead of the
other, environed both the pinnaces with bonnets, as for a close fight,
and then wheaved [waved] them aboard him.

They kept themselves upon their oars at caliver-shot distance,
spending powder apace; as we did some two or three hours. We had only
one of our men wounded in that fight. What they had is unknown to us,
but we saw their pinnaces shot through in divers places, and the
powder of one of them took fire; whereupon we weighed, intending to
bear room to overrun them: which they perceiving, and thinking that we
would have boarded them, rowed away amain to the defence they had in
the wood, the rather because they were disappointed of their help that
they expected from the frigate; which was warping towards us, but by
reason of the much wind that blew, could not come to offend us or
succour them.

Thus seeing that we were still molested, and no hope remained of any
purchase to be had in this place any longer; because we were now so
notably made known in those parts, and because our victuals grew
scant: as soon as the weather waxed somewhat better (the wind
continuing always westerly, so that we could not return to our ships)
our Captain thought best to go (3rd November) to the Eastward, towards
/Rio Grande/ [Magdalena] long the coast, where we had been before, and
found great store of victuals.

But when after two days' sailing, we were arrived (5th November) at
the villages of store, where before we had furnished ourselves with
abundance of hens, sheep, calves, hogs, etc.; now we found bare
nothing, not so much as any people left: for that they, by the
Spaniards' commandments, had fled to the mountains, and had driven
away all their cattle, that we might not be relieved by them. Herewith
being very sorry, because much of our victuals in our pinnaces was
spoilt by the foul weather at sea and rains in harbour. A frigate
being descried at sea revived us, and put us in some hope for the
time, that in her we should find sufficient; and thereupon it may
easily be guessed, how much we laboured to recover her: but when we
had boarded her, and understood that she had neither meat nor money,
but that she was bound for /Rio Grande/ to take in provision upon
bills, our great hope converted into grief.

We endured with our allowance seven or eight days more, proceeding to
the Eastward, and bearing room for Santa Marta, upon hope to find some
shipping in the road, or limpets on the rocks, or succour against the
storm in that good harbour. Being arrived; and seeing no shipping; we
anchored under the western point, where is high land, and, as we
thought, free in safety from the town, which is in the bottom of the
bay: not intending to land there, because we knew that it was
fortified, and that they had intelligence of us.

But the Spaniards (knowing us to be Men-of-war, and misliking that we
should shroud under their rocks without their leave) had conveyed some
thirty or forty shot among the cliffs, which annoyed us so spitefully
and so unrevengedly, for that they lay hidden behind the rocks, but we
lay open to them, that we were soon weary of our harbour, and enforced
(for all the storm without and want within) to put to sea. Which
though these enemies of ours were well contented withal, yet for a
farewell, as we came open of the town, they sent us a culverin shot;
which made a near escape, for it fell between our pinnaces, as we were
upon conference of what was best to be done.

The company advised that if it pleased him, they might put themselves
aland, some place to the Eastward to get victuals, and rather hope for
courtesy from the country-people, than continue at sea, in so long
cold, and great a storm in so leaky a pinnace. But our Captain would
in no wise like of that advice; he thought it better to bear up
towards Rio de [la] Hacha, or Coricao [Curacao], with hope to have
plenty without great resistance: because he knew, either of the
islands were not very populous, or else it would be very likely that
these would be found ships of victual in a readiness.

The company of the other pinnace answered, that "They would willingly
follow him through the world; but in this they could not see how
either their pinnaces should live in that sea, without being eaten up
in that storm, or they themselves able to endure so long time, with so
slender provision as they had, viz., only one gammon of bacon and
thirty pounds of biscuit for eighteen men."

Our Captain replied, that "They were better provided than himself was,
who had but one gammon of bacon, and forty pounds of biscuit for his
twenty-four men; and therefore he doubted not but they would take such
part as he did, and willingly depend upon God's Almighty providence,
which never faileth them that trust in Him."

With that he hoisted his foresail, and set his course for Coricao;
which the rest perceiving with sorrowful hearts in respect of the weak
pinnace, yet desirous to follow their Captain, consented to take the
same course.

We had not sailed past three leagues, but we had espied a sail plying
to the Westward, with her two courses, to our great joy: who vowed
together, that we would have her, or else it should cost us dear.

Bearing with her, we found her to be a Spanish ship of above 90 tons,
which being wheaved [waved] amain by us, despised our summons, and
shot off her ordnance at us.

The sea went very high, so that it was not for us to attempt to board
her, and therefore we made fit small sail to attend upon her, and keep
her company to her small content, till fairer weather might lay the
sea. We spent not past two hours in our attendance, till it pleased
God, after a great shower, to send us a reasonable calm, so that we
might use our pieces [i. e., bases] and approach her at pleasure, in
such sort that in short time we had taken her; finding her laden with
victuals well powdered [salted] and dried: which at that present we
received as sent us of God's great mercy.

After all things were set in order, and that the wind increased
towards night, we plied off and on, till day (13th November), at what
time our Captain sent in ELLIS HIXOM, who had then charge of his
pinnace, to search out some harbour along the coast; who having found
out a little one, some ten or twelve leagues to the east of Santa
Marta, where in sounding he had good ground and sufficient water,
presently returned, and our Captain brought in his new prize. Then by
promising liberty, and all the apparel to the Spaniards which we had
taken if they would bring us to water and fresh victuals; the rather
by their means, we obtained of the inhabitants (Indians) what they
had, which was plentiful. These Indians were clothed and governed by a
Spaniard, which dwelt in the next town, not past a league off. We
stayed there all day, watering and wooding, and providing things
necessary, by giving content and satisfaction of the Indians. But
towards night our Captain called all of us aboard (only leaving the
Spaniards lately taken in the prize ashore, according to our promise
made them, to their great content; who acknowledged that our Captain
did them a far greater favour in setting them freely at liberty, than
he had done them displeasure in taking their ship), and so set sail.

The sickness which had begun to kindle among us, two or three days
before, did this day shew itself, in CHARLES GLUB, one of our Quarter-
Masters, a very tall man, and a right good mariner; taken away, to the
great grief both of Captain and company. What the cause of this malady
was, we knew not of certainty, we imputed it to the cold which our men
had taken, lying without succour in the pinnaces. But however it was,
thus it pleased GOD to visit us, and yet in favour to restore unto
health all the rest of our company, that were touched with this
disease; which were not a few.

The next morning (15th November) being fair weather, though the wind
continued contrary, our Captain commanded the /Minion/, his lesser
pinnace, to hasten away before him towards his ships at Fort Diego
within the Cabecas [Headlands] to carry news of his coming, and to put
all things in a readiness for our land journey, if they heard anything
of the Fleet's arrival by the Cimaroons; giving the /Minion/ charge if
they wanted wine, to take St. Bernards in their way, and there take in
some such portion as they thought good, of the wines which we had
there hidden in the sand.

We plied to windwards, as near as we could, so that within seven-night
after the /Minion/ departed from us, we came (22nd November) to St.
Bernards, finding but twelve /botijos/ of wine of all the store we
left, which had escaped the curious search of the enemy, who had been
there; for they were deep in the ground.

Within four or five days after, we came (27th November) to our ship,
where we found all other things in good order; but received very heavy
news of the death of JOHN DRAKE, our Captain's brother, and another
young man called RICHARD ALLEN, which were both slain at one time (9th
October), as they attempted the boarding of a frigate, within two days
after our departing from them.

The manner of it, as we learned by examination of the company, was
this. When they saw this frigate at sea, as they were going towards
their fort with planks to make the platforms, the company were very
importunate on him, to give chase and set upon this frigate, which
they deemed had been a fit booty for them. But he told them, that they
"wanted weapons to assail; they knew not how the frigate was provided,
they had their boats loaded with planks, to finish that his brother
had commanded." But when this would not satisfy them, but that still
they urged him with words and supposals: "If you will needs," said he,
"adventure! It shall never be said that I will be hindmost, neither
shall you report to my brother, that you lost your voyage by any
cowardice you found in me!"

Thereupon every man shifted as they might for the time: and heaving
their planks overboard, took them such poor weapons as they had: viz.,
a broken pointed rapier, one old visgee, and a rusty caliver: JOHN
DRAKE took the rapier, and made a gauntlet of his pillow, RICHARD
ALLEN the visgee, both standing at the head of the pinnace, called
/Eion/. ROBERT took the caliver and so boarded. But they found the
frigate armed round about with a close fight of hides, full of pikes
and calivers, which were discharged in their faces, and deadly wounded
those that were in the fore-ship, JOHN DRAKE in the belly, and RICHARD
ALLEN in the head. But notwithstanding their wounds, they with oars
shifted off the pinnace, got clear of the frigate, and with all haste
recovered their ship: where within an hour after, this young man of
great hope, ended his days, greatly lamented of all the company.

Thus having moored our ships fast, our Captain resolved to keep
himself close without being descried, until he might hear of the
coming of the Spanish Fleet; and therefore set no more to sea; but
supplied his wants, both for his own company and the Cimaroons, out of
his aforesaid magazine, beside daily out of the woods, with wild hogs,
pheasants, and guanas: continuing in health (GOD be praised) all the
meantime, which was a month at least; till at length about the
beginning of January, half a score of our company fell down sick
together (3rd January, 1573), and the most of them died within two or
three days. So long that we had thirty at a time sick of this
/calenture/, which attacked our men, either by reason of the sudden
change from cold to heat, or by reason of brackish water which had
been taken in by our pinnace, through the sloth of their men in the
mouth of the river, not rowing further in where the water was good.

Among the rest, JOSEPH DRAKE, another of his brethren, died in our
Captain's arms, of the same disease: of which, that the cause might be
the better discerned, and consequently remedied, to the relief of
others, by our Captain's appointment he was ripped open by the
surgeon, who found his liver swollen, his heart as it were sodden, and
his guts all fair. This was the first and last experiment that our
Captain made of anatomy in this voyage.

The Surgeon that cut him open, over-lived him not past four days,
although he was not touched with that sickness, of which he had been
recovered about a month before: but only of an over-bold practice
which he would needs make upon himself, by receiving an over-strong
purgation of his own device, after which taken, he never spake; nor
his Boy recovered the health which he lost by tasting it, till he saw

The Cimaroons, who, as is before said, had been entertained by our
Captain in September last, and usually repaired to our ship, during
all the time of our absence, ranged the country up and down, between
Nombre de Dios and us, to learn what they might for us; whereof they
gave our Captain advertisement, from time to time; as now particularly
certain of them let him understand, that the Fleet had certainly
arrived in Nombre de Dios.

Therefore he sent (30th January) the /Lion/, to the seamost islands of
the Cativaas, to descry the truth of the report: by reason it must
needs be, that if the Fleet were in Nombre de Dios, all frigates of
the country would repair thitherward with victuals.

The /Lion/, within a few days descried that she was sent for, espying
a frigate, which she presently boarded and took, laden with maize,
hens, and pompions from Tolou; who assured us of the whole truth of
the arrival of the Fleet: in this frigate were taken one woman and
twelve men, of whom one was the /Scrivano/ of Tolou. These we used
very courteously, keeping them diligently guarded form the deadly
hatred of the Cimaroons; who sought daily by all means they could, to
get them of our Captain, that they might cut their throats, to revenge
their wrongs and injuries which the Spanish nation had done them; but
our Captain persuaded them not to touch them, or give them ill
countenance, while they were in his charge; and took order for their
safety, not only in his presence, but also in his absence. For when he
had prepared to take his journey for Panama, by land; he gave ELLIS
HIXOM charge of his own ship and company, and especially of those
Spaniards whom he had put into the great prize, which was hauled
ashore to the island, which we termed Slaughter Island (because so
many of our men died there), and used as a storehouse for ourselves,
and a prison for our enemies.

All things thus ordered, our Captain conferring with his company, and
the chiefest of the Cimaroons, what provisions were to be prepared for
this great and long journey, what kind of weapons, what store of
victuals, and what manner of apparel: was especially advised, to carry
as great store of shoes as possible he might, by reason of so many
rivers with stone and gravel as they were to pass. Which, accordingly
providing, prepared his company for that journey, entering it upon
Shrove-Tuesday (3rd February). At what time, there had died twenty-
eight of our men, and a few whole men were left aboard with ELLIS
HIXOM to keep the ship, and attend the sick, and guard the prisoners.

At his departure our Captain gave this Master straight charge, in any
case not to trust any messenger, that should come in his name with any
tokens, unless he brought his handwriting: which he knew could not be
counterfeited by the Cimaroons or Spaniards.

We were in all forty-eight, of which eighteen only were English; the
rest were Cimaroons, which beside their arms, bare every one of them,
a great quantity of victuals and provision, supplying our want of
carriage in so long a march, so that we were not troubled with
anything but our furniture. And because they could not carry enough to
suffice us altogether; therefore (as they promised before) so by the
way with their arrows, they provided for us competent store from time
to time.

They have every one of them two sorts of arrows: the one to defend
himself and offend the enemy, the other to kill his victuals. These
for fight are somewhat like the Scottish arrow; only somewhat longer,
and headed with iron, wood, or fish bones. But the arrows for
provision are of three sorts, the first serveth to kill any great
beast near at hand, as ox, stag, or wild boar: this hath a head of
iron of a pound and a half weight, shaped in form like the head of a
javelin or boar-spear, as sharp as any knife, making so large and deep
a wound as can hardly be believed of him that hath not seen it. The
second serveth for lesser beasts, and hath a head of three-quarters of
a pound: this he most usually shooteth. The third serveth for all
manner of birds: it hath a head of an ounce weight. And these heads
though they be of iron only, yet are they so cunningly tempered, that
they will continue a very good edge a long time: and though they be
turned sometimes, yet they will never or seldom break. The necessity
in which they stand hereof continually causeth them to have iron in
far greater account than gold: and no man among them is of greater
estimation, than he that can most perfectly give this temper unto it.

Every day we were marching by sun-rising. We continued till ten in the
forenoon: then resting (ever near some river) till past twelve, we
marched till four, and then by some river's side, we reposed ourselves
in such houses, as either we found prepared heretofore by them, when
they travelled through these woods, or they daily built very readily
for us in this manner.

As soon as we came to the place where we intended to lodge, the
Cimaroons, presently laying down their burdens, fell to cutting of
forks or posts, and poles or rafters, and palmito boughs, or plantain
leaves; and with great speed set up the number of six houses. For
every of which, they first fastened deep into the ground, three or
four great posts with forks: upon them, they laid one transom, which
was commonly about twenty feet, and made the sides, in the manner of
the roofs of our country houses, thatching it close with those
aforesaid leaves, which keep out water a long time: observing always
that in the lower ground, where greater heat was, they left some three
or four feet open unthatched below, and made the houses, or rather
roofs, so many feet the higher. But in the hills, where the air was
more piercing and the nights cold, they made our rooms always lower,
and thatched them close to the ground, leaving only one door to enter
in, and a louvre hole for a vent, in the midst of the roof. In every
of these, they made four several lodgings, and three fires, one in the
midst, and one at each end of every house: so that the room was most
temperately warm, and nothing annoyed with smoke, partly by reason of
the nature of the wood which they use to burn, yielding very little
smoke, partly by reason of their artificial making of it: as firing
the wood cut in length like our billets at the ends, and joining them
together so close, that though no flame or fire did appear, yet the
heat continued without intermission.

Near many of the rivers where we stayed or lodged, we found sundry
sorts of fruits, which we might use with great pleasure and safety
temperately: Mammeas, Guayvas, Palmitos, Pinos, Oranges, Lemons, and
divers other; from eating of which they dissuaded us in any case,
unless we eat very few of them, and those first dry roasted, as
Plantains, Potatoes, and such like.

In journeying, as oft as by chance they found any wild swine, of which
those hills and valleys have store, they would ordinarily, six at a
time, deliver their burdens to the rest of their fellows, pursue, kill
and bring away after us, as much as they could carry, and time
permitted. One day as we travelled, the Cimaroons found an otter, and
prepared it to be drest: our Captain marvelling at it, PEDRO, our
chief Cimaroon, asked him, "Are you a man of war, and in want; and yet
doubt whether this be meat, that hath blood?"

Herewithal our Captain rebuked himself secretly, that he had so
slightly considered of it before.

The third day of our journey (6th February), they brought us to a town
of their own, seated near a fair river, on the side of a hill,
environed with a dyke of eight feet broad, and a thick mud wall of ten
feet high, sufficient to stop a sudden surpriser. It had one long and
broad street, lying east and west, and two other cross streets of less
breadth and length: there were in it some five or six and fifty
households; which were kept so clean and sweet, that not only the
houses, but the very streets were very pleasant to behold. In this
town we saw they lived very civilly and cleanly. For as soon as we
came thither, they washed themselves in the river; and changed their
apparel, as also their women do wear, which was very fine and fitly
made somewhat after the Spanish fashion, though nothing so costly.
This town is distant thirty-five leagues from Nombre de Dios and
forty-five from Panama. It is plentifully stored with many sorts of
beasts and fowl, with plenty of maize and sundry fruits.

Touching their affection in religion, they have no kind of priests,
only they held the Cross in great reputation. But at our Captain's
persuasion, they were contented to leave their crosses, and to learn
the /Lord's Prayer/, and to be instructed in some measure concerning
GOD's true worship. They kept a continual watch in four parts, three
miles off their town, to prevent the mischiefs, which the Spaniards
intend against them, by the conducting of some of their own coats
[i.e., Cimaroons], which having been taken by the Spaniards have been
enforced thereunto: wherein, as we learned, sometimes the Spaniards
have prevailed over them, especially when they lived less careful; but
since, they [watch] against the Spaniards, whom they killed like
beasts, as often as they take them in the woods; having aforehand
understood of their coming.

We stayed with them that night, and the next day (7th February) till
noon; during which time, they related unto us diverse very strange
accidents, that had fallen out between them and the Spaniards, namely
one. A gallant gentleman entertained by the Governor of the country,
undertook, the year last past [1572], with 150 soldiers, to put this
town to the sword, men, women, and children. Being conducted to it by
one of them, that had been taken prisoner, and won by great gifts; he
surprised it half an hour before day, by which occasion most of the
men escaped, but many of their women and children were slaughtered, or
taken: but the same morning by sun rising (after that their guide was
slain, in following another man's wife, and that the Cimaroons had
assembled themselves in their strength) they behaved themselves in
such sort, and drove the Spaniards to such extremity, that what with
the disadvantage of the woods (having lost their guide and thereby
their way), what with famine and want, there escaped not past thirty
of them, to return answer to those which sent them.

Their king [chief] dwelt in a city within sixteen leagues southeast of
Panama; which is able to make 1,700 fighting men.

They all intreated our Captain very earnestly, to make his abode with
them some two or three days; promising that by that time, they would
double his strength if he thought good. But he thanking them for their
offer, told them, that "He could stay no longer! It was more than time
to prosecute his purposed voyage. As for strength, he would wish no
more than he had, although he might have presently twenty times as
much!" Which they took as proceeding not only from kindness, but also
from magnanimity; and therefore, they marched forth, that afternoon,
with great good will.

This was the order of our march. Four of those Cimaroons that best
knew the ways, went about a mile distance before us, breaking boughs
as they went, to be a direction to those that followed; but with great
silence, which they also required us to keep.

Then twelve of them were as it were our Vanguard, other twelve, our
Rearward. We with their two Captains in the midst.

All the way was through woods very cool and pleasant, by reason of
those goodly and high trees, that grow there so thick, that it is
cooler travelling there under them in that hot region, than it is in
the most parts of England in the summer time. This gave a special
encouragement unto us all, that we understood there was a great Tree
about the midway, from which, we might at once discern the North Sea
from whence we came, and the South Sea whither we were going.

The fourth day following (11th February) we came to the height of the
desired hill, a very high hill, lying East and West, like a ridge
between the two seas, about ten of the clock: where [PEDRO] the
chiefest of these Cimaroons took our Captain by the hand, and prayed
him to follow him, if he was desirous to see at once the two seas,
which he had so long longed for.

Here was that goodly and great high Tree, in which they had cut and
made divers steps, to ascend up near unto the top, where they had also
made a convenient bower, wherein ten or twelve men might easily sit:
and from thence we might, without any difficulty, plainly see the
Atlantic Ocean whence now we came, and the South Atlantic [i.e.,
Pacific Ocean] so much desired. South and north of this Tree, they had
felled certain trees, that the prospect might be the clearer; and near
about the Tree there were divers strong houses, that had been built
long before, as well by other Cimaroons as by these, which usually
pass that way, as being inhabited in divers places in those waste

After our Captain had ascended to this bower, with the chief Cimaroon,
and having, as it pleased God, at that time, by reason of the brize
[breeze], a very fair day, had seen that sea, of which he had heard
such golden reports: he "besought Almighty God of His goodness, to
give him life and leave to sail once in an English ship, in that sea!"
And then calling up all the rest of our [17 English] men, he
acquainted JOHN OXNAM especially with this his petition and purpose,
if it would please God to grant him that happiness. Who understanding
it, presently protested, that "unless our Captain did beat him from
his company, he would follow him, by God's grace!"

Thus all, thoroughly satisfied with the sight of the seas, descended;
and after our repast, continued our ordinary march through woods, yet
two days more as before: without any great variety. But then (13th
February) we came to march in a champion country, where the grass
groweth, not only in great lengths as the knot grass groweth in many
places, but to such height, that the inhabitants are fain to burn it
thrice in the year, that it may be able to feed the cattle, of which
they have thousands.

For it is a kind of grass with a stalk, as big as a great wheaten
reed, which hath a blade issuing from the top of it, on which though
the cattle feed, yet it groweth every day higher, until the top be too
high for an ox to reach. Then the inhabitants are wont to put fire to
it, for the space of five or six miles together; which notwithstanding
after it is thus burnt, within three days, springeth up fresh like
green corn. Such is the great fruitfulness of the soil: by reason of
the evenness of the day and night, and the rich dews which fall every

In these three last days' march in the champion, as we past over the
hills, we might see Panama five or six times a day; and the last day
(14th February) we saw the ships riding in the road.

But after that we were come within a day's journey of Panama, our
Captain (understanding by the Cimaroons that the Dames of Panama are
wont to send forth hunters and fowlers for taking of sundry dainty
fowl, which the land yieldeth; by whom if we marched not very
heedfully, we might be descried) caused all his company to march out
of all ordinary way, and that with as great heed, silence, and
secrecy, as possibly they might, to the grove (which was agreed on
four days before) lying within a league of Panama, where we might lie
safely undiscovered near the highway, that leadeth from thence to
Nombre de Dios.

Thence we sent a chosen Cimaroon, one that had served a master in
Panama before time, in such apparel as the Negroes of Panama do use to
wear, to be our espial, to go into the town, to learn the certain
night, and time of the night, when the carriers laded the Treasure
from the King's Treasure House to Nombre de Dios. For they are wont to
take their journey from Panama to Venta Cruz, which is six leagues,
ever by night; because the country is all champion, and consequently
by day very hot. But from Venta Cruz to Nombre de Dios as oft as they
travel by land with their treasure, they travel always by day and not
by night, because all that way is full of woods, and therefore very
fresh and cool; unless the Cimaroons happily encounter them, and made
them sweat with fear, as sometimes they have done: whereupon they are
glad to guard their /Recoes/ [i.e., Recuas, the Spanish word for a
drove of beasts of burden; meaning here, a mule train] with soldiers
as they pass that way.

This last day, our Captain did behold and view the most of all that
fair city, discerning the large street which lieth directly from the
sea into the land, South and North.

By three of the clock, we came to this grove; passing for the more
secrecy alongst a certain river, which at that time was almost dried

Having disposed of ourselves in the grove, we despatched our spy an
hour before night, so that by the closing in of the evening, he might
be in the city; as he was. Whence presently he returned unto us, that
which very happily he understood by companions of his. That the
Treasurer of Lima intending to pass into Spain in the first /Adviso/
(which was a ship of 350 tons, a very good sailer), was ready that
night to take his journey towards Nombre de Dios, with his daughter
and family: having fourteen mules in company: of which eight were
laden with gold, and one with jewels. And farther, that there were two
other Recuas, of fifty mules in each, laden with victuals for the most
part, with some little quantity of silver, to come forth that night
after the other.

There are twenty-eight of these Recuas; the greatest of them is of
seventy mules, the less of fifty; unless some particular man hire for
himself, ten, twenty, or thirty, as he hath need.

Upon this notice, we forthwith marched four leagues, till we came
within two leagues of Venta Cruz, in which march two of our Cimaroons
which were sent before, by scent of his match, found and brought a
Spaniard, whom they had found asleep by the way, by scent of the said
match, and drawing near thereby, heard him taking his breath as he
slept; and being but one, they fell upon him, stopped his mouth from
crying, put out his match, and bound him so, that they well near
strangled him by that time he was brought unto us.

By examining him, we found all that to be true, which our spy had
reported to us, and that he was a soldier entertained with others by
the Treasurer, for guard and conduct of this treasure, from Venta Cruz
to Nombre de Dios.

This soldier having learned who our Captain was, took courage, and was
bold to make two requests unto him. The one that "He would command his
Cimaroons which hated the Spaniards, especially the soldiers
extremely, to spare his life; which he doubted not but they would do
at his charge." The other was, that "seeing he was a soldier, and
assured him, that they should have that night more gold, besides
jewels, and pearls of great price, then all they could carry (if not,
then he was to be dealt with how they would); but if they all found it
so, then it might please our Captain to give unto him, as much as
might suffice for him and his mistress to live upon, as he had heard
our Captain had done to divers others: for which he would make his
name as famous as any of them which had received like favour."

Being at the place appointed, our Captain with half his men [8 English
and 15 Cimaroons], lay on one side of the way, about fifty paces off
in the long grass; JOHN OXNAM with the Captain of the Cimaroons, and
the other half, lay on the other side of the way, at the like
distance: but so far behind, that as occasion served, the former
company might take the foremost mules by the heads, and the hindmost
because the mules tied together, are always driven one after another;
and especially that if we should have need to use our weapons that
night, we might be sure not to endamage our fellows. We had not lain
thus in ambush much above an hour, but we heard the /Recuas/ coming
both from the city to Venta Cruz, and from Venta Cruz to the city,
which hath a very common and great trade, when the fleets are there.
We heard them by reason they delight much to have deep-sounding bells,
which, in a still night, are heard very far off.

Now though there were as great charge given as might be, that none of
our men should shew or stir themselves, but let all that came from
Venta Cruz to pass quietly; yea, their /Recuas/ also, because we knew
that they brought nothing but merchandise from thence: yet one of our
men, called ROBERT PIKE, haven drunken too much /aqua vitae/ without
water, forgot himself, and enticing a Cimaroon forth with him was gone
hard to the way, with intent to have shown his forwardness on the
foremost mules. And when a cavalier from Venta Cruz, well mounted,
with his page running at his stirrup, passed by, unadvisedly he rose
up to see what he was: but the Cimaroon of better discretion pulled
him down, and lay upon him, that he might not discover them any more.
Yet by this, the gentleman had taken notice by seeing one half all in
white: for that we had all put our shirts over our other apparel, that
we might be sure to know our own men in the pell mell in the night. By
means of this sight, the cavalier putting spurs to his horse, rode a
false gallop; as desirous not only himself to be free of this doubt
which he imagined, but also to give advertisement to others that they
might avoid it.

Our Captain who had heard and observed by reason of the hardness of
the ground and stillness of the night, the change of this gentleman's
trot to a gallop, suspected that he was discovered, but could not
imagine by whose fault, neither did the time give him leisure to
search. And therefore considering that it might be, by reason of the
danger of the place, well known to ordinary travellers: we lay still
in expectation of the Treasurer's coming; and he had come forward to
us, but that this horseman meeting him, and (as we afterwards learnt
by the other Recuas) making report to him, what he had seen presently
that night, what he heard of Captain DRAKE this long time, and what he
conjectured to be most likely: viz., that the said Captain DRAKE, or
some for him, disappointed of his expectation, of getting any great
treasure, both at Nombre de Dios and other places, was by some means
or other come by land, in covert through the woods, unto this place,
to speed of his purpose: and thereupon persuaded him to turn his
/Recua/ out of the way, and let the other /Recuas/ which were coming
after to pass on. They were whole /Recuas/, and loaded but with
victuals for the most part, so that the loss of them were far less if
the worst befell, and yet they should serve to discover them as well
as the best.

Thus by the recklessness of one of our company, and by the carefulness
of this traveller; we were disappointed of a most rich booty: which is
to be thought GOD would not should be taken, for that, by all
likelihood, it was well gotten by that Treasurer.

The other two /Recuas/ were no sooner come up to us, but being stayed
and seized on. One of the Chief Carriers, a very sensible fellow, told
our Captain by what means we were discovered, and counselled us to
shift for ourselves betimes, unless we were able to encounter the
whole force of the city and country before day would be about us.

It pleased us but little, that we were defeated of our golden /Recua/,
and that in these we could find not past some two horse-loads of
silver: but it grieved our Captain much more, that he was discovered,
and that by one of his own men. But knowing it bootless to grieve at
things past, and having learned by experience, that all safety in
extremity, consisteth in taking of time [i. e., by the forelock,
making an instant decision]; after no long consultation with PEDRO the
chief of our Cimaroons, who declared that "there were but two ways for
him: the one to travel back again the same secret way they came, for
four leagues space into the woods, or else to march forward, by the
highway to Venta Cruz, being two leagues, and make a way with his
sword through the enemies." He resolved, considering the long and
weary marches that we had taken, and chiefly that last evening and day
before: to take now the shortest and readiest way: as choosing rather
to encounter his enemies while he had strength remaining, than to be
encountered or chased when we should be worn out with weariness:
principally now having the mules to ease them that would, some part of
the way.

Therefore commanding all to refresh themselves moderately with such
store of victuals as we had here in abundance: he signified his
resolution and reason to them all; asking PEDRO by name, "Whether he
would give his hand not to forsake him?" because he knew that the rest
of the Cimaroons would also then stand fast and firm, so faithful are
they to their captain. He being very glad of his resolution, gave our
Captain his hand, and vowed that "He would rather die at his foot,
than leave him to the enemies, if he held this course."

So having strengthened ourselves for the time, we took our journey
towards Venta Cruz, with help of the mules till we came within a mile
of the town, where we turned away the /Recuas/, charging the
conductors of them, not to follow us upon pain of their lives.

There, the way is cut through the woods, above ten or twelve feet
broad, so as two /Recuas/ may pass one by another. The fruitfulness of
the soil, causeth that with often shredding and ridding the way, those
woods grow as thick as our thickest hedges in England that are
oftenest cut.

To the midst of this wood, a company of soldiers, which continually
lay in that town, to defend it against the Cimaroons, were come forth,
to stop us if they might on the way; if not, to retreat to their
strength, and there to expect us. A Convent [Monastery] of Friars, of
whom one was become a Leader, joined with these soldiers, to take such
part as they did.

Our Captain understanding by our Cimaroons, which with great
heedfulness and silence, marched now, but about half a flight-shot
before us, that it was time for us to arm and take us to our weapons,
for they knew the enemy was at hand, by smelling of their match and
hearing of a noise: had given us charge, that no one of us should make
any shot, until the Spaniards had first spent their volley: which he
thought they would not do before they had spoken, as indeed fell out.

For as soon as we were within hearing, a Spanish Captain cried out,
"Hoo!" Our Captain answered him likewise, and being demanded "/Que
gente?/" replied "Englishmen!" But when the said Commander charged
him, "In the name of the King of Spain, his Master, that we should
yield ourselves; promising in the word and faith of a Gentleman
Soldier, that if we would so do, he would use us with all courtesy."
Our Captain drawing somewhat near him said: "That for the honour of
the Queen of England, his Mistress, he must have passage that way,"
and therewithal discharged his pistol towards him.

Upon this, they presently shot off their whole volley; which, though
it lightly wounded our Captain, and divers of our men, yet it caused
death to one only of our company called JOHN HARRIS, who was so
powdered with hail-shot, (which they all used for the most part as it
seemed, or else "quartered," for that our men were hurt with that
kind) that we could not recover his life, though he continued all that
day afterwards with us.

Presently as our Captain perceived their shot to come slacking, as the
latter drops of a great shower of rain, with his whistle he gave us
his usual signal, to answer them with our shot and arrows, and so
march onwards upon the enemy, with intent to come to handy-strokes,
and to have joined with them; whom when we found retired as to a place
of some better strength, he increased his pace to prevent them if he
might. Which the Cimaroons perceiving, although by terror of the shot
continuing, they were for the time stept aside; yet as soon as they
discerned by hearing that we marched onward, they all rushed forward
one after another, traversing the way, with their arrows ready in
their bows, and their manner of country dance or leap, very singing
/Yo peho! Yo peho/ and so got before us, where they continued their
leap and song, after the manner of their own country wars, till they
and we overtook some of the enemy, who near the town's end, had
conveyed themselves within the woods, to have taken their stand at us,
as before.

But our Cimaroons now thoroughly encouraged, when they saw our
resolution, brake in through the thickets, on both sides of them,
forcing them to fly, Friars and all!: although divers of our men were
wounded, and one Cimaroon especially was run through with one of their
pikes, whose courage and mind served him so well notwithstanding, that
he revenged his own death ere he died, by killing him that had given
him that deadly wound.

We, with all speed, following this chase, entered the town of Venta
Cruz, being of about forty or fifty houses, which had both a Governor
and other officers and some fair houses, with many storehouses large
and strong for the wares, which brought thither from Nombre de Dios,
by the river of Chagres, so to be transported by mules to Panama:
beside the Monastery, where we found above a thousand bulls and
pardons, newly sent from Rome.

In those houses we found three gentlewomen, which had lately been
delivered in Nombre de Dios; because it hath been observed of long
time, as they reported to us, that no Spaniard or white woman could
ever be delivered in Nombre de Dios with safety of their children but
that within two or three days they died; notwithstanding that being
born and brought up in this Venta Cruz or Panama five or six years,
and then brought to Nombre de Dios, if they escaped sickness the first
or second month, they commonly lived in it as healthily as in any
other place: although no stranger (as they say) can endure there any
long time, without great danger of death or extreme sickness.

Though at our first coming into the town with arms so suddenly, these
ladies were in great fear, yet because our Captain had given straight
charge to all the Cimaroons (that while they were in his company, they
should never hurt any woman nor man that had not a weapon in his hand
to do them hurt; which they earnestly promised, and no less faithfully
performed) they had no wrong offered them, nor any thing taken from
them, to the worth of a garter; wherein, albeit they had indeed
sufficient safety and security, by those of his company, which our
Captain sent unto them, of purpose to comfort them: yet they never
ceased most earnestly entreating, that our Captain would vouchsafe to
come to them himself for their more safety; which when he did, in
their presence reporting the charge he had first been given, and the
assurance of his men, they were comforted.

While the guards which we had, not without great need, set, as well on
the bridge which we had to pass over, as at the town's end where we
entered (they have no other entrance into the town by land: but from
the water's side there is one other to carry up and down their
merchandise from their frigates) gained us liberty and quiet to stay
in this town some hour and half: we had not only refreshed ourselves,
but our company and Cimaroons had gotten some good pillage, which our
Captain allowed and gave them (being not the thing he looked for) so
that it were not too cumbersome or heavy in respect of our travel, or
defence of ourselves.

A little before we departed, some ten or twelve horsemen came from
Panama; by all likelihood, supposing that we were gone out of this
town, for that all was so still and quiet, came to enter the town
confidently: but finding their entertainment such as it was; they that
could, rode faster back again for fear than they had ridden forward
for hope.

Thus we having ended our business in this town, and the day beginning
to spring, we marched over the bridge, observing the same order that
we did before. There we were all safe in our opinion, as if we had
been environed with wall and trench, for that no Spaniard without his
extreme danger could follow us. The rather now, for that our Cimaroons
were grown very valiant. But our Captain considering that he had a
long way to pass, and that he had been now well near a fortnight from
his ship, where he had left his company but weak by reason of their
sickness, hastened his journeys as much as he might, refusing to visit
the other Cimaroon towns (which they earnestly desired him) and
encouraging his own company with such example and speech, that the way
seemed much shorter. For he marched most cheerfully, and assured us
that he doubted not but ere he left that coast, we should all be
bountifully paid and recompensed for all those pains taken: but by
reason of this our Captain's haste, and leaving of their towns, we
marched many days with hungry stomachs, much against the will of our
Cimaroons: who if we would have stayed any day from this continual
journeying, would have killed for us victuals sufficient.

In our absence, the rest of the Cimaroons had built a little town
within three leagues off the port where our ship lay. There our
Captain was contented, upon their great and earnest entreaties to make
some stay; for that they alleged, it was only built for his sake. And
indeed he consented the rather, that the want of shoes might be
supplied by means of the Cimaroons, who were a great help unto us: all
our men complaining of the tenderness of their feet, whom our Captain
would himself accompany in their complaint, some times without cause,
but some times with cause indeed; which made the rest to bear the
burden the more easily.

These Cimaroons, during all the time that we were with burden, did us
continually very good service, and in particular in this journey,
being unto us instead of intelligencers, to advertise us; of guides in
our way to direct us; of purveyors, to provide victuals for us; of
house-wrights to build our lodgings; and had indeed able and strong
bodies carrying all our necessaries: yea, many times when some of our
company fainted with sickness of weariness, two Cimaroons would carry
him with ease between them, two miles together, and at other times,
when need was, they would shew themselves no less valiant than
industrious, and of good judgment.

From this town, at our first entrance in the evening, on Saturday
(22nd February), our Captain despatched a Cimaroon with a token and
certain order to the Master: who had, these three weeks, kept good
watch against the enemy, and shifted in the woods for fresh victual,
for the relief and recovery of our men left aboard.

As soon as this messenger was come to the shore, calling to our ship,
as bringing some news, he was quickly fet[ched] aboard by those which
longed to hear of our Captain's speeding: but when he showed the
toothpike of gold, which he said our Captain had sent for a token to
ELLIS HIXOM, with charge to meet him at such a river though the Master
knew well the Captain's toothpike: yet by reason of his admonition and
caveat [warning] given him at parting, he (though he bewrayed no sign
of distrusting the Cimaroon) yet stood as amazed, lest something had
befallen our Captain otherwise than well. The Cimaroon perceiving
this, told him, that it was night when he was sent away, so that our
Captain could not send any letter, but yet with the point of his
knife, he wrote something upon the toothpike, "which," he said,
"should be sufficient to gain credit to the messenger."

Thereupon, the Master looked upon it, and saw written, /By me, FRANCIS
DRAKE/: wherefore he believed, and according to the message, prepared
what provision he could, and repaired to the mouth of the river of
Tortugos, as the Cimaroons that went with him then named it.

That afternoon towards three a clock, we were come down to that river,
not past half-an-hour before we saw our pinnace ready come to receive
us: which was unto us all a double rejoicing: first that we saw them,
and next, so soon. Our Captain with all our company praised GOD most
heartily, for that we saw our pinnace and fellows again.

We all seemed to these, who had lived at rest and plenty all this
while aboard, as men strangely changed (our Captain yet not much
changed) in countenance and plight: and indeed our long fasting and
sore travail might somewhat forepine and waste us; but the grief we
drew inwardly, for that we returned without that gold and treasure we
hoped for did no doubt show her print and footsteps in our faces.

The rest of our men which were then missed, could not travel so well
as our Captain, and therefore were left at the Indian new town: and
the next day (23rd February) we rowed to another river in the bottom
of the bay and took them all aboard. Thus being returned from Panama,
to the great rejoicing of our company, who were thoroughly revived
with the report we brought from thence: especially understanding our
Captain's purpose, that he meant not to leave off thus, but would once
again attempt the same journey, whereof they also might be partakers.

Our Captain would not, in the meantime, suffer this edge and
forwardness of his men to be dulled or rebated, by lying still idly
unemployed, as knowing right well by continual experience, that no
sickness was more noisome to impeach any enterprise than delay and

Therefore considering deeply the intelligences of other places of
importance thereabouts, which he had gotten the former years; and
particularly of Veragua, a rich town lying to the Westward; between
Nombre de Dios and Nicaragua, where is the richest mine of fine gold
that is on this North side: he consulted with his company touching
their opinions, what was to be done in this meantime, and how they
stood affected?

Some thought, that "It was most necessary to seek supply of victuals,
that we might the better be able to keep our men close and in health
till our time came: and this way easy to be compassed, because the
frigates with victuals went without great defence, whereas the
frigates and barks with treasure, for the most part were wafted with
great ships and store of soldiers."

Others yet judged, "We might better bestow our time in intercepting
the frigates of treasure; first, for that our magazines and
storehouses of victuals were reasonably furnished, and the country
itself was so plentiful, that every man might provide for himself if
the worst befell: and victuals might hereafter be provided abundantly
as well as now: whereas the treasure never floateth upon the sea, so
ordinarily as at this time of the Fleets being there, which time in no
wise may be neglected."

The Cimaroons being demanded also their opinion (for that they were
experienced in the particularities of all the towns thereabouts, as in
which some or other of them had served), declared that "by Veragua,
Signior PEZORO (some time their master from whom they fled) dwelt; not
in the town for fear of some surprise, but yet not far off from the
town, for his better relief; in a very strong house of stone, where he
had dwelt nineteen years at least, never travelling from home; unless
happily once a year to Cartagena, or Nombre de Dios when the Fleets
were there. He keepeth a hundred slaves at least in the mines, each
slave being bound to bring in daily, clear gain (all charges deducted)
three Pesos of Gold for himself and two for his women (8s. 3d. the
Peso), amounting in the whole, to above 200 pounds sterling each day:
so that he hath heaped a mighty mass of treasure together, which he
keepeth in certain great chests, of two feet deep, three broad, and
four long: being (notwithstanding all his wealth) bad and cruel not
only to his slaves, but unto all men, and therefore never going abroad
but with a guard of five or six men to defend his person from danger,
which he feareth extraordinarily from all creatures.

"And as touching means of compassing this purpose, they would conduct
him safely through the woods, by the same ways by which they fled,
that he should not need to enter their havens with danger, but might
come upon their backs altogether unlooked for. And though his house
were of stone, so that it could not be burnt; yet if our Captain would
undertake the attempt, they would undermine and overthrow, or
otherwise break it open, in such sort, as we might have easy access to
his greatest treasure."

Our Captain having heard all their opinions, concluded so that by
dividing his company, the two first different sentences were both
reconciled, both to be practised and put in use.

JOHN OXNAM appointed in the /Bear/, to be sent Eastward towards Tolou,
to see what store of victuals would come athwart his half; and himself
would to the Westward in the /Minion/, lie off and on the /Cabecas/,
where was the greatest trade and most ordinary passage of those which
transported treasure from Veragua and Nicaragua to the Fleet; so that
no time might be lost, nor opportunity let slip either for victuals or
treasure. As for the attempt of Veragua, or Signior PEZORO'S house by
land, by marching through the woods; he liked not of, lest it might
overweary his men by continual labour; whom he studied to refresh and
strengthen for his next service forenamed.

Therefore using our Cimaroons most courteously, dismissing those that
were desirous to their wives, with such gifts and favours as were most
pleasing, and entertaining those still aboard his ship, which were
contented to abide with the company remaining; the pinnaces departed
as we determined: the /Minion/ to the West, the /Bear/ to the East.

The /Minion/ about the /Cabecas/, met with a frigate of Nicaragua, in
which was some gold, and a Genoese Pilot (of which Nation there are
many in those coasts), which had been at Veragua not past eight days
before. He being very well entreated, certified our Captain of the
state of the town, and of the harbour, and of a frigate that was there
ready to come forth within few days, aboard which there was above a
million of gold, offering to conduct him to it, if we would do him his
right: for that he knew the channel very perfectly, so that he could
enter by night safely without danger of the sands and shallows, though
there be but little water, and utterly undescried; for that the town
is five leagues within the harbour, and the way by land is so far
about and difficult through the woods, that though we should by any
casualty be discovered, about the point of the harbour, yet we might
despatch our business and depart, before the town could have notice of
our coming.

At his being there, he perceived they had heard of DRAKE'S being on
the coast, which had put them in great fear, as in all other places
(PEZORO purposing to remove himself to the South Sea!): but there was
nothing done to prevent him, their fear being so great, that, as it is
accustomed in such cases, it excluded counsel and bred despair.

Our Captain, conferring with his own knowledge and former
intelligences, was purposed to have returned to his ship, to have
taken some of those Cimaroons which had dwelt with Signior PEZORO, to
be the more confirmed in this point.

But when the Genoese Pilot was very earnest, to have the time gained,
and warranted our Captain of good speed, if we delayed not; he
dismissed the frigate, somewhat lighter to hasten her journey! And
with this Pilot's advice, laboured with sail and oars to get this
harbour and to enter it by night accordingly: considering that this
frigate might now be gained, and PEZORO'S house attempted hereafter

But when we were come to the mouth of the harbour, we heard the report
of two Chambers, and farther off about a league within the bay, two
other as it were answering them: whereby the Genoese Pilot conjectured
that we were discovered: for he assured us, that this order had been
taken since his last being there, by reason of the advertisement and
charge, which the Governor of Panama had sent to all the Coasts; which
even in their beds lay in great and continual fear of our Captain, and
therefore by all likelihood, maintained this kind of watch, at the
charge of the rich Gnuffe PEZORO for their security.

Thus being defeated of this expectation, we found it was not GOD'S
will that we should enter at that time: the rather for that the wind,
which had all this time been Easterly, came up to the Westward, and
invited us to return again to our ship; where, on Sheere Thursday
(19th March), we met, according to appointment, with our /Bear/, and
found that she had bestowed her time to more profit than we had done.

For she had taken a frigate in which there were ten men (whom they set
ashore) great store of maize, twenty-eight fat hogs, and two hundred
hens. Our Captain discharged (20th March) this frigate of her lading;
and because she was new, strong, and of a good mould, the next day
(21st March) he tallowed her to make her a Man-of-war; disposing all
our ordnance and provisions that were fit for such use, in her. For we
had heard by the Spaniards last taken, that there were two little
galleys built in Nombre de Dios, to waft the Chagres Fleet to and fro,
but were not yet both launched: wherefore he purposed now to adventure
for that Fleet.

And to hearten his company he feasted them that Easter Day (22nd
March) with great cheer and cheerfulness, setting up his rest upon
that attempt.

The next day (23rd March) with the new tailored frigate of Tolou, and
his /Bear/, we set sail towards the Cativaas, where about two days
after we landed, and stayed till noon; at what time seeing a sail to
the westward, as we deemed making to the island: we set sail and plied
towards him, who descrying us, bare with us, till he perceived by our
confidence, that we were no Spaniards, and conjectured we were those
Englishmen, of whom he had heard long before. And being in great want,
and desirous to be relieved by us: he bare up under our lee, and in
token of amity, shot off his lee ordnance, which was not unanswered.

We understood that he was TETU, a French Captain of Newhaven [Havre] a
Man-of-war as we were, desirous to be relieved by us. For at our first
meeting, the French Captain cast abroad his hands, and prayed our
Captain to help him to some water, for that he had nothing but wine
and cider aboard him, which had brought his men into great sickness.
He had sought us ever since he first heard of our being upon the
coast, about this five weeks. Our Captain sent one aboard him with
some relief for the present, willing him to follow us to the next
port, where he should have both water and victuals.

At our coming to anchor, he sent our Captain a case of pistols, and a
fair gift scimitar (which had been the late King's of France [HENRY
II.], whom Monsieur MONTGOMERY hurt in the eye, and was given him by
Monsieur STROZZE). Our Captain requited him with a chain of gold, and
a tablet which he wore.

This Captain reported unto us the first news of the Massacre of Paris,
at the King of NAVARRE'S marriage on Saint Bartholomew's Day last,
[24th August, 1572]; of the Admiral of France slain in his chamber,
and divers other murders: so that he "thought those Frenchmen the
happiest which were farthest from France, now no longer France but
Frensy, even as if all Gaul were turned into wormwood and gall:
Italian practices having over-mastered the French simplicity." He
showed what famous and often reports he had heard of our great riches.
He desired to know of our Captain which way he might "compass" his
voyage also.

Though we had seen him in some jealousy and distrust, for all his
pretence; because we considered more the strength he had than the
good-will he might bear us: yet upon consultation among ourselves,
"Whether it were fit to receive him or not?" we resolved to take him
and twenty of his men, to serve with our Captain for halves. In such
sort as we needed not doubt of their forces, being but twenty; nor be
hurt by their portions, being no greater than ours: and yet gratify
them in their earnest suit, and serve our own purpose, which without
more help we could very hardly have achieved. Indeed, he had 70 men,
and we now but 31; his ship was above 80 tons, and our frigate not 20,
or pinnace nothing near 10 tons. Yet our Captain thought this
proportionable, in consideration that not numbers of men, but quality
of their judgements and knowledge, were to be the principal actors
herein: and the French ship could do not service, or stand in any
stead to this enterprise which we intended, and had agreed upon
before, both touching the time when it should take beginning, and the
place where we should meet, namely, at Rio Francisco.

Having thus agreed with Captain TETU, we sent for the Cimaroons as
before was decreed. Two of them were brought aboard our ships, to give
the French assurance of this agreement.

And as soon as we could furnish ourselves and refresh the French
company, which was within five or six days (by bringing them to the
magazines which were the nearest, where they were supplied by us in
such sort, as they protested they were beholding to us for all their
lives) taking twenty of the French and fifteen of ours with our
Cimaroons, leaving both our chips in safe road, we manned our frigate
and two pinnaces (we had formerly sunk our /Lion/, shortly after our
return from Panama, because we had not men sufficient to man her), and
went towards Rio Francisco: which because it had not water enough for
our frigate, caused us to leave her at the Cabecas, manned with
English and French, in the charge of ROBERT DOBLE, to stay there
without attempting any chase, until the return of our pinnaces.

And then bore to Rio Francisco, where both Captains landed (31st
March) with such force as aforesaid, and charged them that had the
charge of the pinnaces to be there the fourth day next following
without any fail. And thus knowing that the carriages [mule loads]
went now daily from Panama to Nombre de Dios; we proceeded in covert
through the woods, towards the highway that leadeth between them.

It is five leagues accounted by sea, between Rio Francisco and Nombre
de Dios; but that way which we march by land, we found it above seven
leagues. We marched as in our former journey to Panama, both for order
and silence; to the great wonder of the French Captain and company,
who protested they knew not by any means how to recover the pinnaces,
if the Cimaroons (to whom what our Captain commanded was a law; though
they little regarded the French, as having no trust in them) should
leave us: our Captain assured him, "There was no cause of doubt of
them, of whom he had had such former trial."

When we were come within an English mile of the way, we stayed all
night, refreshing ourselves, in great stillness, in a most convenient
place: where we heard the carpenters, being many in number, working
upon their ships, as they usually do by reason of the great heat of
the day in Nombre de Dios; and might hear the mules coming from
Panama, by reason of the advantage of the ground.

The next morning (1st April), upon hearing of that number of bells,
the Cimaroons, rejoiced exceedingly, as though there could not have
befallen them a more joyful accident chiefly having been disappointed
before. Now they all assured us, "We should have more gold and silver
than all of us could bear away": as in truth it fell out.

For there came three /Recuas/, one of 50 mules, the other two, of 70
each, every [one] of which carried 300 lbs. weight of silver; which in
all amounted to near thirty tons.

We putting ourselves in readiness, went down near the way to hear the
bells; where we stayed not long, but we saw of what metal they were
made; and took such hold on the heads of the foremost and hindmost
mules, that all the rest stayed and lay down, as their manner is.

These three /Recuas/ were guarded with forty-five soldiers or
thereabouts, fifteen to each /Recua/, which caused some exchange of
bullets and arrows for a time; in which conflict the French Captain
was sore wounded with hail-shot in the belly, and one Cimaroon was
slain: but in the end, these soldiers thought it the best way to leave
their mules with us, and to seek for more help abroad.

In which meantime we took some pain to ease some of the mules which
were heaviest loaden of their carriage. And because we ourselves were
somewhat weary, we were contented with a few bars and quoits of gold,
as we could well carry: burying about fifteen tons of silver, partly
in the burrows which the great land crabs had made in the earth, and
partly under old trees which were fallen thereabout, and partly in the
sand and gravel of a river, not very deep of water.

Thus when about this business, we had spent some two hours, and had
disposed of all our matters, and were ready to march back the very
self-same way that we came, we heard both horse and foot coming as it
seemed to the mules: for they never followed us, after we were once
entered the woods, where the French Captain by reason of his wound,
not able to travel farther, stayed, in hope that some rest would
recover him better strength.

But after we had marched some two leagues, upon the French soldiers'
complaint, that they missed one of their men also, examination being
made whether he were slain or not: it was found that he had drunk much
wine, and over-lading himself with pillage, and hasting to go before
us, had lost himself in the woods. And as we afterwards knew, he was
taken by the Spaniards that evening: and upon torture, discovered unto
them where we had hidden our treasure.

We continued our march all that and the next day (2nd and 3rd April)
towards Rio Francisco, in hope to meet with our pinnaces; but when we
came thither, looking out to sea, we saw seven Spanish pinnaces, which
had been searching all the coast thereabouts: whereupon we mightily
suspected that they had taken or spoiled our pinnaces, for that our
Captain had given so straight charge, that they should repair to this
place this afternoon; from the Cabecas where they rode; whence to our
sight these Spaniards' pinnaces did come.

But the night before, there had fallen very much rain, with much
westerly wind, which as it enforced the Spaniards to return home the
sooner, by reason of the storm: so it kept our pinnaces, that they
could not keep the appointment; because the wind was contrary, and
blew so strong, that with their oars they could all that day get but
half the way. Notwithstanding, if they had followed our Captain's
direction in setting forth over night, while the wind served, they had
arrived at the place appointed with far less labour, but with far more
danger: because that very day at noon, the shallops manned out, of
purpose, from Nombre de Dios, were come to this place to take our
pinnaces: imagining where we were, after they had heard of our
intercepting of the treasure.

Our Captain seeing the shallops, feared lest having taken our
pinnaces, they had compelled our men by torture to confess where his
frigate and ships were. Therefore in this distress and perplexity, the
company misdoubting that all means of return to their country were cut
off, and that their treasure then served them to small purpose; our
Captain comforted and encouraged us all, saying, "We should venture no
farther than he did. It was no time now to fear: but rather to hasten
to prevent that which was feared! If the enemy have prevailed against
our pinnaces, which GOD forbid! Yet they must have time to search
them, time to examine the mariners, time to execute their resolution
after it is determined. Before all these times be taken, we may get to
our ships, if ye will! though not possibly by land, because of the
hills, thickets, and rivers, yet by water. Let us, therefore, make a
raft with the trees that are here in readiness, as offering
themselves, being brought down the river, happily this last storm, and
put ourselves to sea! I will be one, who will be the other?"

JOHN SMITH offered himself, and two Frenchmen that could swim very
well, desired they might accompany our Captain, as did the Cimaroons
likewise (who had been very earnest with our Captain to have marched
by land, though it were sixteen days' journey, and in case the ship
had been surprised, to have abode always with them), especially PEDRO,
who yet was fain to be left behind, because he could not row.

The raft was fitted and fast bound; a sail of a biscuit sack prepared;
an oar was shaped out of a young tree to serve instead of a rudder, to
direct their course before the wind.

At his departure he comforted the company, by promising, that "If it
pleased GOD, he should put his foot in safety aboard his frigate, he
would, GOD willing, by one means or other get them all aboard, in
despite of all the Spaniards in the Indies!"

In this manner pulling off to the sea, he sailed some three leagues,
sitting up to the waist continually in water, and at every surge of
the wave to the arm-pits, for the space of six hours, upon this raft:
what with the parching of the sun and what with the beating of the
salt water, they had all of them their skins much fretted away.

At length GOD gave them the sight of two pinnaces turning towards them
with much wind; but with far greater joy to them than could easily
conjecture, and did cheerfully declare to those three with him, that
"they were our pinnaces! and that all was safe, so that there was no
cause of fear!"

But see, the pinnaces not seeing this raft, nor suspecting any such
matter, by reason of the wind and night growing on, were forced to run
into a cover behind the point, to take succour, for that night: which
our Captain seeing, and gathering (because they came not forth again),
that they would anchor there, put his raft ashore, and ran by land
about the point, where he found them; who, upon sight of him, made as
much haste as they could to take him and his company aboard. For our
Captain (of purpose to try what haste they could and would make in
extremity), himself ran in great haste, and so willed the other three
with him; as if they had been chased by the enemy: which they the
rather suspected, because they saw so few with him.

And after his coming aboard, when they demanding "How all his company
did?" he answered coldly, "Well!" They all doubted that all went
scarce well. But he willing to rid all doubts, and fill them with joy,
took out of his bosom a quoit of gold, thanking GOD that "our voyage
was made!"

And to the Frenchmen he declared, how their Captain with great pain of
his company, rowed to Rio Francisco; where he took the rest in, and
the treasure which we had brought with us: making such expedition,
that by dawning of the day, we set sail back again to our frigate, and
from thence directly to our ships: where, as soon as we arrived, our
Captain divided by weight, the gold and silver into two even portions,
between the French and the English.

About a fortnight after, when we had set all things to order, and
taking out of our ship [the /Pascha/] all such necessaries as we
needed for our frigate, had left and given her to the Spaniards, whom
we had all this time detained, we put out of that harbour together
with the French ship, riding some few days among the Cabecas.

In the meantime, our Captain made a secret composition with the
Cimaroons, that twelve of our men and sixteen of theirs, should make
another voyage, to get intelligence in what case the country stood;
and if it might be, recover Monsieur TETU, the French Captain; at
leastwise to bring away that which was hidden in our former surprise,
and could not then be conveniently carried.

JOHN OXNAM and THOMAS SHERWELL were put in trust for his service, to
the great content of the whole company, who conceived greatest hope of
them next our Captain; whom by no means they would condescend to
suffer to adventure again, this time: yet he himself rowed to set them
ashore at Rio Francisco; finding his labour well employed both
otherwise, and also in saving one of those two Frenchmen that had
remained willingly to accompany their wounded captain.

For this gentleman, having escaped the rage of the Spaniards, was now
coming towards our pinnace, where he fell down on his knees, blessing
GOD for the time, "that ever our Captain was born; who now, beyond all
his hopes, was become his deliverer."

He being demanded, "What was become of his Captain and other fellow?"
shewed that within half an hour after our departure, the Spaniards had
overgotten them, and took his Captain and other fellow: he only
escaped by flight, having cast away all his carriage, and among the
rest one box of jewels, that he might fly the swifter from the
pursuers: but his fellow took it up and burdened himself so sore, that
he could make no speed; as easily as he might otherwise, if he would
have cast down his pillage, and laid aside his covetous mind. As for
the silver, which we had hidden thereabout in the earth and the sands,
he thought that it was all gone: for that he thought there had been
near two thousand Spaniards and Negroes there to dig and search for

This report notwithstanding, our purpose held, and our men were sent
to the said place, where they found that the earth, every way a mile
distant had been digged and turned up in every place of any
likelihood, to have anything hidden in it.

And yet nevertheless, for all that narrow search, all our men's labour
was not quite lost, but so considered, that the third day after their
departure, they all returned safe and cheerful, with as much silver as
they and all the Cimaroons could find (viz., thirteen bars of silver,
and some few quoits of gold), with which they were presently embarked,
without empeachment, repairing with no less speed than joy to our

Now was it high time to think of homewards, having sped ourselves as
we desired; and therefore our Captain concluded to visit Rio Grande
[Magdalena] once again, to see if he could meet with any sufficient
ship or bark, to carry victuals enough to serve our turn homewards, in
which we might in safety and security embark ourselves.

The Frenchmen having formerly gone from us, as soon as they had their
shares, at our first return with the treasure; as being very desirous
to return home into their country, and our Captain as desirous to
dismiss them, as they were to be dismissed: for that he foresaw they
could not in their ship avoid the danger of being taken by the
Spaniards, if they should make out any Men-of-war for them, while they
lingered on the coast; and having also been then again relieved with
victuals by us.--Now at our meeting of them again, were very loath to
leave us, and therefore accompanied us very kindly as far up as St.
Bernards; and farther would, but that they durst not adventure so
great danger; for that we had intelligence, that the Fleet was ready
to set sail for Spain, riding at the entry of Cartagena.

Thus we departed from them, passing hard by Cartagena, in the sight of
all the Fleet, with a flag of St. GEORGE in the main top of our
frigate, with silk streamers and ancients down to the water, sailing
forward with a large wind, till we came within two leagues of the
river [Magdalena], being all low land, and dark night: where to
prevent the over shooting of the river in the night, we lay off and on
bearing small sail, till that about midnight the wind veering to the
eastward, by two of the clock in the morning, a frigate from Rio
Grande [Magdalena] passed hard by us, bearing also but small sail. We
saluted them with our shot and arrows, they answered us with bases;
but we got aboard them, and took such order, that they were content
against their wills to depart ashore and to leave us this frigate:
which was of 25 tons, loaded with maize, hens, and hogs, and some
honey, in very good time fit for our use; for the honey especially was
notable reliever and preserver of crazed people.

The next morning as soon as we set those Spaniards ashore on the Main,
we set our course for the Cabecas without any stop, whither we came
about five days after. And being at anchor, presently we hove out all
the maize a land, saving three butts which we kept for our store: and
carrying all our provisions ashore, we brought both our frigates on
the careen, and new tallowed them.

Here we stayed about seven nights, trimming and rigging our frigates,
boarding and stowing our provision, tearing abroad and burning our
pinnaces, that the Cimaroons might have the iron-work.

About a day or two before our departure, our Captain willed PEDRO and
three of the chiefest of the Cimaroons to go through both his
frigates, to see what they liked; promising to give it them,
whatsoever it were, so it were not so necessary as that he could not
return into England without it. And for their wives he would himself
seek out some silks or linen that might gratify them; which while he
was choosing out of his trunks, the scimitar which CAPTAIN TETU had
given to our Captain, chanced to be taken forth in PEDRO'S sight:
which he seeing grew so much in liking thereof, that he accounted of
nothing else in respect of it, and preferred it before all that could
be given him. Yet imagining that it was no less esteemed of our
Captain, durst not himself open his mouth to crave or commend it; but
made one FRANCIS TUCKER to be his mean to break his mind, promising to
give him a fine quoit of gold, which yet he had in store, if he would
but move our Captain for it; and to our Captain himself, he would give
four other great quoits which he had hidden, intending to have
reserved them until another voyage.

Our Captain being accordingly moved by FRANCES TUCKER, could have been
content to have made no such exchange; but yet desirous to content
him, that had deserved so well, he gave it him with many good words:
who received it with no little joy, affirming that if he should give
his wife and children which he loved dearly in lieu of it, he could
not sufficient recompense it (for he would present his king with it,
who he knew would make him a great man, even for this very gift's
sake); yet in gratuity and stead of other requital of this jewel, he
desired our Captain to accept these four pieces of gold, as a token of
his thankfulness to him, and a pawn of his faithfulness during life.

Our Captain received it in most kind sort, but took it not to his own
benefit, but caused it to be cast into the whole Adventure, saying,
"If he had not been set forth to take that place, he had not attained
such a commodity, and therefore it was just that they which bare part
with him of his burden in setting him to sea, should enjoy the
proportion of his benefit whatsoever at his return."

Thus with good love and liking we took our leave of that people,
setting over to the islands of [ ? ], whence the next day after,
we set sail towards Cape St. Antonio; by which we past with a large
wind: but presently being to stand for the Havana, we were fain to ply
to the windward some three or four days; in which plying we fortuned
to take a small bark, in which were two or three hundred hides, and
one most necessary thing, which stood us in great stead, viz., a pump!
which we set in our frigate. Their bark because it was nothing fit for
our service, our Captain gave them to carry them home.

And so returning to Cape St. Antonio, and landing there, we refreshed
ourselves, and besides great store of turtle eggs, found by day in the
[sand], we took 250 turtles by night. We powdered [salted] and dried
some of them, which did us good service. The rest continued but a
small time.

There were, at this time, belonging to Cartagena, Nombre de Dios, Rio
Grande, Santa Marta, Rio de la Hacha, Venta Cruz, Veragua, Nicaragua,
the Honduras, Jamaica etc., above 200 frigates; some of a 120 tons,
others but of 10 or 12 tons, but the most of 30 or 40 tons, which all
had intercourse between Cartagena and Nombre de Dios. The most of
which, during our abode in those parts, we took; and one of them,
twice or thrice each: yet never burnt nor sunk any, unless they were
made out Men-of-war against us, or laid as stales to entrap us.

And of all the men taken in these several vessels, we never offered
any kind of violence to any, after they were once come under our
power; but either presently dismissed them in safety, or keeping them
with us some longer time (as some of them we did), we always provided
for their sustenance as for ourselves, and secured them from the rage
of the Cimaroons against them: till at last, the danger of their
discovering where our ships lay being over past, for which only cause
we kept them prisoners, we set them also free.

Many strange birds, beasts, and fishes, besides fruits, trees, plants,
and the like, were seen and observed of us in this journey, which
willingly we pretermit as hastening to the end of our voyage: which
from this Cape of St. Antonio, we intended to finish by sailing the
directest and speediest way homeward; and accordingly, even beyond our
own expectation, most happily performed.

For whereas our Captain had purposed to touch at Newfoundland, and
there to have watered; which would have been some let unto us, though
we stood in great want of water; yet GOD Almighty so provided for us,
by giving us good store of rain water, that we were sufficiently
furnished: and, within twenty-three days, we passed from the Cape of
Florida, to the Isles of Scilly, and so arrived at Plymouth, on
Sunday, about sermon time, August the 9th, 1573.

At what time, the news of our Captain's return brought unto his, did
so speedily pass over all the church, and surpass their minds with
desire and delight to see him, that very few or none remained with the
Preacher. All hastened to see the evidence of GOD's love and blessing
towards our Gracious Queen and country, by the fruit of our Captain's
labour and success.

/Soli DEO Gloria./

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