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companies which bounder the river of Tamar or Saltashe be reddy to releave Plymouth uppon any sudden; bycause they maie be soone past over, if there were provision of better passage. But as yet there ar but two ferries neere Plymouth,—the one at Stonehouse, the other at Aishe, as aforesaid. And two or three gallies · will interrupte all transportation ; bycause there is not any place strengthened to gard or assure anie passage over the saied river, neerer then Newebridge, which is 12 miles above, within the lande.
Contrariewise, Somerset lieth to Devon in great bredthe, and is a cuntrye strongly formed; whereas the other is stretched all in lenght. Somersetshiere is not devyded from Devon by any river which is not fordable, at all tymes and in all places, so as both horse, foot, carryage, victuall, and whatsoever maie come, in hast, from thence to the succour of Devon. Cornewall hath Tamar, noe waie passable neere Plymouth. Somerset is seated from daunger, having Devon towards the southe, and on Severne side it hath not ports capeable of any shippes of bourden, , and the indraught is long and daungerous. All the north coast of Devon and Cornewall lyeing betwen the waters of Somerset, which are Dunster, Minnett, and Bridgewater, into which smale barques cannot aryve without precise observation of tyde. Cornewall is but an arme of lande which stretcheth it selfe even to the bosome of the enemye, and hath the best ports of Ingland on the south ; and better than any in Somerset on the north; and also betwen them and harme. Somerset is verie riche and full of horse, as well for carriadge as service ; many welthie gentlemen : and aboundeth in victuall. Cornewall hath no horse
1 This word is added, by interlineation, in Ralegh's hand.
of service; the cuntrie poore; fewe gentlemen, and those of meane livinge ; and, by reason that their riches consisteth in tynn-workes, there is little corne, and lesse of all things else.
For these respects, I hope that your Honors will have
honorable Privey Councell. Endorsed :
25 Vov. 1595. Sir Walter Raleghe to the Lords,
TO SIR ROBERT CECIL.
From the Original. Cecil Papers, vol. xxxvi. Š 44 (Hatfield). Holograph.
I BESEICH you lett us know whether wee shalbe travelers, or tinkers; conquerors, or novices.
For, if the winter pass without making provision, there can be
Nov. 26 ? no vitling in the summer; and if it be now foreslowed,
To Sir R. farewell Guiana for ever. Then must I determyne to Cecil.
From begg or run away. Honor, and gold, and all good, Sherborne. for ever hopeless.
I do not heer how you like the white stone. I have sent for one of each ; as soon as they cume, you shall
have them. v. 26 : Proposals
I have written this letter to the Lords in aunswere for the
of that which I receved about mutuall supplies between Colonization of Devon and Cornwale,-a matter soon written, but not Guiana.
possible to performe. Somersett may best releve Devon, Arrangements for
for if it be apoynted to Dorsett, it is more than need. the defence! For Dorsett hath never a haven capable of any great of Devon and Cor. shipp, without which ther is no feare of any discent. wall.
i I beseich you let us here sumewhat as soun as you cann. And so, with my most humble dewtye to my Mistris—I care not mich for your idle Honor
[POSTSCRIPT.] – I have sent the letter unsealed. HANCOKE hath a seal of myne ; when you have perused it. I humblie pray you that your footman may deliver thes too letters att Derum House.
most honorable Pricey Councell. Hast, &c.
endorsements of the several postmasters on the route. )
1 See preceding letter of 25th of same month.
PREFATORY NOTE TO LETTER LVIII. THE PANAMA
EXPEDITION OF SIR FRANCIS DRAKE, IN 1595.
ALEGH'S gloomy anticipation, in this letter, of the fate of PREFA
Drake's expedition,-“ if the Spanish fleet arrive while the NOTE TO soldiers are overland,"—had been actually realized, though in a different way, a few days before its date. Whilst Sir Walter was writing it, Hawkins already lay dead; as did also Drake's dear friend and comrade, Brute Browne. The unfortunate attack on Puerto Rico had been made, and had failed of its object. Within less than two months, Drake, too, died "of a broken heart;" as Ralegh himself said, long years afterwards, in the letter which records his own disasters in the fatal expedition to Guiana.
There is but too much proof that the Queen and her Ministers were the responsible authors of Drake's failure and death. The expedition, at its outset, had been scandalously pinched in its due supplies and appliances. A divided command—that frequent source of failure in the Elizabethan enterprises—was insisted upon ; and to the divided command were added conflicting instructions. As in so many other expeditions, the chief anxiety at home was for the spoils.
Almost from the first day, the commanders differed in opinion as to the best course to be pursued, and the misfortunes began almost as soon as the voyage. On the 30th of October, Hawkins' sternmost ship was attacked and taken by five Spanish ships of war. His death took place on the 12th of November, the day before the attack on Puerto Rico. Drake died on the 28th of January, 1596 ;-just six months too soon to share in the rejoicings for the great victory at Cadiz.
A considerable portion of the expenditure for the outfit
of this expedition had fallen on the commanders. As soon as Drake was dead, proceedings were taken in the Exchequer against his heirs to recover a large debt alleged to be “ due to the Crown."
Such was the monumental recognition awarded, by Queen Elizabeth and her advisers, to the services of those among the naval worthies of England who were not courtiers.
TO THE LORD HIGH ADMIRAL HOWARD.
From the Original. Cecil Papers, vol. xxxvi. § 42 (Hatfield). Holograph.
Without date of the year.
LETTER MY VERY GOOD LORDE,
I THINCKE your Lordshipp hath understoode by 1595
Watts,' that came lately out of Spayne, that ther wilbe To the a fleet sent after Sir FRANCIS DRAKE and Sir John Lord Admiral
HAWKINGES. The man was curius to confess any Howard.
particulers to mee, butt I did ever gess it to be so. I From Sherborne. thincke your Lordshipp should do very honorable to Proposals
cause a coople of smale carvells or pineses to be disfor the sending of patcht, with all hast, with advise to them. The charge Spanish news to
wilbe small to the Queen, and it may save all her shipps
and people in that action. For, as sure as God lives, if Drake ; and for the Spanishe fleet arive while the soldiers ar over lande, renewing the enter. bothe the shipps att ancor and thos at Panama wilbe prise of Guiana.
both lost. And they may yet be warned in tyme suf1 ficient.
I dare take on mee to direct them to fynde them out by a sure and speedy course ; butt your Lordshipp can
Sir John Watts, of London, already mentioned in preceding letters.