hands of God, and trust His mercy, than in the hands of Commissioners that have no mercy."

1 ܕܙ


1592. July-Oct.

At this period, the cruises of privateers were commonly adventured on “by the thirds," as it was termed. That is, the owners of the ship had one third part of the value of all captures; the victuallers, another third ; the officers and crew, the remaining third. Ships adventuring in company, shared in like proportion, the owners taking in the ratio of the tonnage of their respective ships in consort; the victuallers and crew, in the ratio of the numbers of men on board each consort.

This being borne in mind, the passage in Letter XXVIII.“If (instead of this £20,000) I had made it £100,000, and done injury to none but myself, I hope it may be thought it proceeded from a faithful mind. . . . Fourscore thousand pounds is more than ever a man presented Her Majesty yet,” — becomes less enigmatical than it looks at the first glance. The earliest estimate of the worth of the carrack's cargo reached the inordinate sum of half a million in the money, it is to be remembered, of 1592). Ralegh, much nearer the truth, put it at £200,000. Eventually,-as far as concerns what had been left available, after plunder,-it proved to be but little above £141,000, or some three quarters of a million, in our present currency. Ralegh-adopting, as I suppose, Sir John Borough's account of the circumstances of the capture, as he was bound to doquestioned the fairness of the claim advanced on behalf of the ships of the Earl of Cumberland. The Queen, as a sharer in the original joint adventure of March 1592, he estimated to be entitled, for the tonnage of her ships and her proportion in the joint-stock, to one-tenth of the net proceeds. But, in courtly fashion, he adds that if his own share were large enough,-and no one would lose but himself,-he would willingly quintuple the royal proportion; and so offer for Her Majesty's acceptance “ fourscore thousand pounds."

1 MS. Lansdowne, vol. lxx. $ 61.



In the issue, the Queen took quite sufficient care of herself. Having adventured £1800 out of a joint-stock of £18,000, and NOTE TO having furnished 1150 tons of shipping out of 5,000 tons, she LETTERS took somewhat more than one-half of the net proceeds of the xxxiv. fortunate adventure. How Sir Walter himself came out of it,

1592. he has pithily summed up in Letter XXXIV. But he had July-Oct. subsequent opportunities,-in some of which he fared much better.



As printed by STRYPE (Annals, vol. iv. p. 180), from his own transcript of

the Original. With some corrections.


SIR GEORGE CAREw hath dealt with me to know in particular how Her Majesty might be profited by the Carique, according to the offer I made.



Sept. (On promise was not to buy my bondage, but my liberty, or before

Sept. 15.) and, I hope, of Her Majesty's favour. . .. . Before I

To Lord heard of the taking of the Carack, I thought not worth

Burghley. the labour [to compute the account of the Voyage].

[From the

Tower.] And myself being the greatest Adventurer, I was con

Partition tented rather to smother my loss, than labour to pu

Spoils of an hopeless overthrown estate, &c.

the ‘Madre

de Dios.' Briefly, of 5,000 ton of shipping, Her Majesty hath but 1100. ... Of £18,000, in money, Her Majesty hath but £1800," for the other £1200' was employed on her two ships, as by Sir JOHN HAWKINS's account will appear. To conclude, Her Majesty's adventure will come but to the tenth part. Which, of £200,000 (such,

1 Strype, 21500,' but compare Letter XXXIV., printed from the Original

. Strype, '£1500.'

I think is the value of the Carack), Her Majesty's part wt be £20.000. And I know Her Majesty will not take the right of her subjects from them, contrary to Der hard and seal : in consideration, that for her service sake, and the rather for your Lordship's persuasion, they were contented to adventure.

And this is not the last time that Her Majesty shall need their contribution. If Her Majesty had set out the journey of her own charge, it would have cost her £40.000. And now it stood her but in £1800,' besides her two ships. Instead of this £20,000 if I had made it £100,000, and done injury to none but myself, I hope it may be thought that it proceeded from a faithful mind, and a true desire to serve Her. Fourscore thousand pounds is more than ever a man presented Her Majesty as yet. If God have sent it for my ransom, I hope Her Majesty of her abundant goodness will accept it. If I speak, with the least, a? greater sum ;-a greater sum will be more thankworthy. If my imprisonment or my life might do Her Majesty more good, I protest, before God, I would never desire either liberty or further respite of breathing.

And if Her Majesty cannot beat me from my affection, I hope her sweet nature will think it no conquest to afflict me. What her will shall be, I shall willingly obey. And so I humbly take my leave of your Lordship. From this unsavoury dungeon, this ... of September (1592).

1 Strype, '21500.'

. Misprinted by Strype 'I' (one).



As printed by STRYPE (Annals, vol. iv. p. 182), from his own transcript of

the Original, but apparently imperfect.


By your Lordship's great favour, I have obtained liberty to ride down. I hope it shall be profitable for Her Majesty and a quietness and satisfaction to the rest. ... Sept. 16. Present payment must be made the ships, that they To Lord come not under further charge. ... The ways to profit Burghley.

[On the Her Majesty's cause be in this wise: To take a fifth part of her custom. Secondly, a tenth part or more mouth.] for her particular adventure. And next, and chiefly, I will put the third part of all into her hands for the partition mariners : which I did undertake to pay; and of right Spoils of belongeth unto myself: which will amount to the one de Dios." half of the Carack. ... I did bind myself to all the ship's company to pay them ; which indeed I did ; and confessed to Sir ROBERT CECIL, while I was a prisoner. ... I will aver, that I undertook on us, in the name and right, who had promised me to save me harmless; hoping of Her Majesty's goodness otherwise. For I protest, before the living God, both my three years' pension of the Custom-house,—which was £6,000,—and all I have besides is in this journey. ... All the wages of the seamen will not amount to £6,000. For that the third, I doubt not, but will be threescore thousand.

way to


On the

of the

the 'Madre

1 So printed by Strype. Probably the reading should be: “in her name and right, who," &c.



As printed by STRYPE (.i nnais, vol. iv. p. 178), from his own transcript of

the Original.


On pro

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My humble duty remembered. If it please your Lord

ship to send us by this bearer a commission to examine 1592. Sept. 17

upon oath as well mariners as townsmen, and all To Lord

strangers of other places, what hath been bought or Bur, hley sold, I doubt not but we shall find out many things of From Hartle. importance. For the Earl of Cumberland's [ships]—who bury:

had the chiefest pillages — arrived at Plymouth, and ceedings to made port-sale of diamonds, rubies, musk, ambergris, be taken

and all other commodities. And not one of the Comrespecting the Carrack missioners ever moved or sent thither ; but only sacked Murine

my ship, which only attended the Carack, even to the very keelson. The Earl's ships--the Dainty', the Dragon, the Foresight, and the rest-ran from her into several ports, and ever sold all; only my poor men and ship was stripped for her good attendance. And if she had forsaken the Carack as the rest did, she [the carrack] had been cast away.

Also if it please your Lordship to send a commission to Alderman MARTEN and others, to make inquiry into London what goldsmiths or jewellers are gone down, and that at their return they may be examined upon | oath, what stones or pearls they have bought, I doubt not but many things will be discovered. If I meet any of them coming up, if it be upon the wildest heath in all the way, I mean to strip them as naked as ever they

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