Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

RALEGH's NARRATIVE.

CARTE.

[ocr errors]

...I returned [to the ships) chiefly for that there was no Admiral left to order the Fleet, and indeed few or people in the Navy ; all running headlong to the sack; and secondly, because I was unfit for ought but ease at that time.

At break of day following I sent to the General to have order to follow the fleet of ships bound for the Indics; which were said to be worth twelve millions, and lay in Puerto Reall road ; where they could not escape. But the town new taken, and the confusion great, it was almost impossible for them to order many things at once; so as I could not receive any an. strer to my desire.

The afternoon of the same day those which were chants of Cales and Sevil offered the Generals two mil. lions to spare the Fiect; whereupon there was nothing done for the present. But the following

SIR WILLIAM MONSON'S NARRATIVE,

After the landing,

my Lord [Essex] dispatched another messenger to my Lord Admirall entreating him to give orders to attack the merchants that rode in Port Royall, for that it was daungerous to give them a nights respite, least they should convey awaie their wealth or take example by the Philipp and the other to burn themselves. This message was delivered by Sir Anthony Ashley and Sir William Mon. son, even as my Lord Admirall was in his boate ready with his troups of seamen to land; and feareinge the Lord General Essex should be put to distress with his smale companies,

hastened by all meanes to second him, and gave order to certain ships the next day to pursue them. ... To speak indifferently, his [Es. sex'] sudden landing without the Lord Ad. mirall's privitie and his giveinge advice by a messenger to attack the shippes, which should have bene (given] by a mature determina. cion, noe doubt but

In 'the heat of the conquest, the India Fleet was in a manner forgot, till Sir Edward Conway, Blount, and Gerard offered to go with the soldiers, on board some small vessels, to attack it. But this Ralegh opposed, as the honour of that service belonged to the seamen. He was disabled from walking by a wound in the leg; and, in the evening, the Generals desired him to go on board the fleet, to guard against any attack the gallies might make upon it in the night, at low water ; promising him good quarters in the town, and his share in the booty. Before he went, he desired orders for attacking the Indian Fleet; asking only one of his ships and twelve London merchantmen for the enterprise. But they entreated him to give them time to think of it till the morrow.

Day was no sooner broke, than Ralegh sent for the answer, and they desired him to come into the town to consult with them, about a proposal made by the King's officers and the commissioners of the merchants, who offered two millions of dollars for the ransom of the Fleet and cargo.

Ralegh said their business was first to make themselves masters of the Fleet, and then those who now offered two millions would give four millions for its ransome. But to this it was objected that if the seamen once got possession of the ships, they would plunder them; besides some other inconveniences.

In the meantime, the Spaniards worked day and night to get the best of the goods out of the ships; and, this being done, the Duke of Medina Sidonia, Governor of St. Lucar, gave orders for their being burnt, which was executed the third day ; before the

mer

CURICIOS, rho saw the blaze at a

Istance, arrived with the news of their 1 eins cigai: mi. Seing russomet:

[ocr errors]

ISIC

Wazier niety of circumstance, these three several

eens te vunt. ut bottom, to be in substantial agreemet de certa man points of the story (1) That Ralegh scenousiy arged 32 stack upon the Indian Fleet, without Syy: Thaza vart of thorough harmony between the 10 Jeneris ac efo interposed delay; (3) That the concong desires-on the one hand, to make as much available socê s possible : on the other, to follow up with vigour the Fiov so successtay struct against the Spanish navy-proved, sene coesiderabie measure, mutually destructive. Justly to

De tre bame of this degree of failure is very difficult. But assureis, Esser would be less anxious for plunder than Riigi Bed Raiegh and the tough High Admiral of England, during the whole active life of each of them, were ** Ersatisfyd in getting." Of Essex, at all times, it may most emphasically be said that "in bestowing, he was most princely." As to the want of harmony amongst the chief commanders, it had evidenced itself. not only before the battle, but before the ! very outset of the expedition from our coast. Howard had : written to Cecil from Dover : “My comission in being

I Sir William Monson, in MS. Cotton, Titus B vii. ff. 120, 121, and verso

: Hwary of England, ml. ij. pp. 659—661. Compare also fear 27 of ...] the Particu'srities that fill out in the l'orage under the charge of the Lords Generals, MS. Lamb. ccl. ff. 362, seya. (Lambeth Palace); and the Despatches, as entered in the Ro isters of Prity Council, Elizabeth, vol vi PP. 348–361 (Council Office).

joyned to the Erle is an idle thynge. I am yoused but as PREFAthe drage.” 1

TORY
NOTE TO
LETTER
LXIX.

1596.

The estimate of their naval loss, formed by the Spaniards themselves, is thus briefly summed up in a paper entitled Relacion de todo lo subcedido en Cádiz desde 29 de Junio de 1596, hasta 27 de Julio, 2 which is preserved amongst the archives of the Dukes of Medina Sidonia : “Besides the loss of the three galleons, St. Philip, St. Andrew, St. Matthew ; two galleons were lost of those under Pedro de Soella, which came from Lisbon; and also three Levantine ships which had arrived from Italy a fortnight before, richly laden. The ships of the Fleet for New Spain--to the number of thirtyfour in all—were burnt, by the advice of Don Francisco Tello and of the General Luis Alfonso, in order to hinder the falling of so much wealth into the power of the enemy. The cargoes were estimated to be worth more than four millions, without reckoning the value of the ships and guns."

" 3

The Spanish documents relating to the affair of Cadiz abound in curious illustrations of Ralegh's letters of this period (LXVIII. LXIX. and LXX), but very few of them can here be noticed. Not the least curious are the examinations of the handful of prisoners who, at different stages of the affair, were captured by the Spaniards, and who were put through their catechisms with a cool and systematic precision

Lord High Admiral to Secretary of State ; Dover, 13 April, 1596. (Ceril Papers, vol. xl. $ 6. Hatfield.)

? The reader will bear in mind that the Spanish dates are ten days in advance of the English.

3 "Demás de la pérdida de los tres galeones, S. Felipe, S. Andrés, S. Matias, se perdieron dos galeones de los de Pedro de Soella, que vinieron de Lisboa, y tres naos levantiscas que quince dias ántes les habian legado de Italia muy ricas, y se quemaron las naos de la Flota de Nueva España, que eran treinta y cuatro en todas, por acuerdo de D. Francisco Tello y el general Luis Alfonso, porque no viniese tanta riqueza en poder de los enemigos, que se estima la carga en mas de cuatro millones, sin el valor de las naos y artilleria.”—Coleccion de los Documentos, &c., xxxvi. Pp. 418, 419.

PREFA
TORY
NOTE TO
LETTER
LXIX.

1596.

and minuteness which would do credit to Doctors Commons. Among the points on which Spanish curiosity was especially keen was the suspected presence, in the English Fleet, of that bête noire of Philip the Second, Antonio Perez, and of another Antonio, son to the claimant of the crown of Portugal. Whether the examinant chanced to be a Cornish foremast-man, an Irish soldier, or an English boy-student' (who had, according to his own statement, embarked on board the Fleet, simply to get a quick and cheap passage to a Spanish university), he was closely questioned as to his knowledge of the Antonios, as well as of the secret objects and original plans of the Expedition, and of the information which had reached its commanders on their way.

One "Juan Prugs," a sailor, who is described as "native of a suburb of London" (which one would scarcely have suspected from his name), whilst denying all knowledge of the fugitive Secretary of the King of Spain, deposed that he saw at Plymouth some Spaniards who were said to be about to embark in the Fleet. It seems that a son, if not two sons, of the titular King of Portugal really sailed with the Expedition. Perez had just before returned to France; after helping, as Essex himself declares, to hinder, not further, the enterprise then in hand: by “feeding the Queen in her irresolution.";

All the accounts agree in showing how entirely the policy pursued by Philip the Second had stripped the most vital parts of the kingdom of adequate defence. After the English Fleet

1 “Duarte de Aquin, que es de la provincid de Darri,"—which may perhaps be translated “Edward Hawkins, or Dawkins, a Devonian!"

2 Amongst these witnesses were four Irishmen who deserted from the army in Cadiz on the 2nd of July (12th of Spanish accounts), with the intention of joining the Spaniards, because they were Catholics, and because they had heard that an Irish gentleman, described as calling himself “Mores Marchas, tio del Conde de Semont, "--to whom some of them were tenants, — was at the Spanish Court, and would be likely to find aa opening for them in Philip's army.

3 Earl of Essex to Edward Reynolds, MS. Tenison, delvii, f. 93 (Lam. beth Palace).

TORY
NOTE TO

LXIX.

1596.

had left Cadiz, the Duke of Medina Sidonia wrote to the PREFASecretary of State at Madrid, that in the course of seventeen days, and in a province so populous as Andalusia, it had not LETTER been possible for him to get together so many as 4,000 effective men or 800 horse. Another great officer wrote on the same day, to the King himself, that from this denudation of troops the English possessed, for a fortnight, the spoils of Cadiz, of the whole island, and of the vicinity, with as much of security and quiet enjoyment as they could have had in their quarters on the banks of the Thames. This being so, it is no wonder that the English commanders found the maintenance of discipline a hard task. As Ralegh here says: “The tumultuous disordered soldiers, being then given to spoil and rapine, had no respect."

Another point on which the Spaniards were very earnest and minute in their inquiries was the rank and family connexions of the English leaders. To master some of the names they found to be at east as difficult as the owners had found it to be to master Cadiz. At length a Spaniard was discovered who declared himself muy practico de la lengua inglesa.” Beginning with the 'Conde de Esiques' and the Admiral, —" son of the Duke of Norfolk, whose head the Queen cut off,”—he comes to Ralegh, to whom he assigns precisely the dignity Sir Walter was very ambitious of, but could never obtain, that of Privy Councillor ;3 though he, many times, exercised its functions.

Duque de Medina Sidonia al Secretario D. Mart. de Idraquez; 16 de Julio, 1596.

* Don Luis Fajardo â Su Magestad del Puerto de S. Maria; 16 de Julio, 1596.

3."Guaterrale, consejero, coronel de un tercio.”

[merged small][ocr errors]
« ForrigeFortsett »