« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
THE SPANISH ARMADA.
so confident were his subjects of success, that in the accounts which were ostentatiously published of its force, they termed it “The most fortunate and invincible Armada.” The fleet, according to the official statement, consisted of 130 ships, having on board 19,295 soldiers, 8450 mariners, 2088 galley-slaves, and 2630 great pieces of brass ; there were, moreover, twenty caravels for the service of the fleet, and ten six-oared faluas. The names of the most popular Romish saints and invocations appeared in the nomenclature of the ships; and holier appellations, which ought never to be thus applied, were strangely associated with the Great Griffin and the Sea Dog, the Cat and the White Falcon. There were in the fleet 124 volunteers of noble family, having among them 456 armed servants. There was no noble house in Spain but had a son, a brother, or a nephew in the voyage, embarked either at their own cost, or in the king's pay. The religioners who embarked for the service of the fleet, and for after operations, were 180, consisting of Augustinians, Franciscans, Dominicans, and Jesuits. Don Martin Alarcon embarked, for the good of the hereties, as vicargeneral of the holy inquisition; and implements of conversion of a more cogent kind than argument or persuasion are said to have been embarked in sufficient quantity. The business of reconciling England to the Romish see was committed to cardinal Allen, as it had formerly been to cardinal Pole, and an English translation of the pope's bull was ready for circulation as landing should be effected. The galleons being above sixty in number, were "exceeding great, fair, and strong, and built high above the water, like castles, easy, says a contemporary writer, to be fought withal, but not so easy to board as the English and the Netherland ships ; their
upper decks were musket proof, and beneath they were four or five feet thick, so as no bullet could pass them. Their masts were bound about with oakum, or pieces of fazeled ropes, and armed against all shot. The galleasses were goodly great vessels, furnished with chambers, chapels, towers, pulpits, and such like : they
soon as a
rowed like galleys, with exceeding great oars, each hav. ing 300 slaves, and were able to do much harm with their great ordnance.” In place of the marquez de Santa Cruz, who was dead, the duque del Medina Sidonia was general of this great armament ; Don Juan Martinez de Ricalde, admiral. *
In whatever spirit of vengeance this expedition was undertaken, and with whatever ambitious views on the part of Philip, it cannot be doubted but that he believed himself to be engaged in a religious war, and that a great proportion of the army embarked with as full a persuasion that they were engaging in God's service, as the first crusaders felt when they set forth for the Holy Land. The duque of Medina Sidonia, in the general orders issued before his embarkation, said, “ First, and before all things, it is to be understood by all in this army, from the highest to the lowest, that the principal cause which hath moved the king his majesty to undertake this voyage, hath been and is to serve God, and to bring back unto his church a great many contrite souls, now oppressed by the heretics, enemies to our holy catholic faith. And for that every one may fix his eyes upon this mark, as we are bound, I do command, and much desire every one to enjoin those who are under his charge, that before they embark, they be shriven and receive the sacrament, with due contrition for their sins; which if it be done, and we are zealous to do unto him such great service, God will be with us, and conduct us to his great glory, which is what particularly and principally is intended.” Strict command was given that no one should blaspheme or rage against God, or Our Lady, or any of the saints, on pain of condign punishment; “ oaths of less quality,” were to be punished by deprivation of wine, or otherwise, as might seem fitting. Gaming was forbidden, as a provocation to this and other sins; and all quarrels between any persons of what quality soever, were to be suppressed and suspended, as well by sea as by land, even though they
* Grimestone, 998.
THE SPANISHI ARMADA.
were old quarrels, so long as the expedition lasted. Any breach of this truce and forbearance of arms was to be accounted as high treason, and punished with death. For further security, it was declared that on board the ships nothing should be offered to the disgrace of any man, and that whatever happened on board, no disgrace nor reproach should be imputed to any one on that account ; moreover, no one might wear a dagger, or thwart any one, or give any provocation. " And for that it was known that great inconvenience and offence unto God arose from consenting that common women, and such like, went in such armies," none were to be embarked : if any person sought to carry them, the captains and masters of the ships were ordered not to consent thereto: whosoever did thus, or dissembled therewith, was to be grievously punished. Every ship's company was to give the good-morrow at day-break, by the main-mast, according to custom; and, at evening, the Ave Maria, and some days the Salve Regina, or at least on Saturdays, with a litany. A litany had been composed for the occasion, in which all archangels, angels, and saints were invoked to assist with their prayers against the English heretics and enemies of the faith. Should it happen because of the wind, that the word could not be given by the admiral, in such case the following words were appointed for the days of the week in order, -Jesus, the Holy Ghost, the Holy Trinity, Santiago, the Angels, All Saints, Our Lady. No men ever set forth upon a bad cause with better will, nor under a stronger delusion of perverted faith.
As needful preparations for action, the gunners were instructed to have half-butts, filled with water and vinegar as usual, " with bonnets, old sails, and wet mantles, to defend fire ;” and to have shot made in good quantity, and powder and match "ready, by weight, measure, and length ;” and all soldiers to have
their room clean and unpestered of chests;' 6 and for
• Had then the wildfire, which was still in use, been derived from that of the Greeks, that vinegar was thought necessary for quenching it ?.
that the mariners must resort unto their work, tackle, and navigation,” their lodgings were to be on the upper works of the poop and forecastle, otherwise the soldiers would trouble them in the voyage.
“ The artillery," said the instructions, “must stand in very good order, and reparted among the gunners, being all charged with their balls; and nigh unto every piece his locker, wherein to put his shot and necessaries; and to have great care to the cartridges of every piece, for not changing, and not taking fire; and that the ladles and sponges be ready at hand. Every ship shall carry two boatslading of stones, to throw to profit, in the time of fight, on the deck, forecastle, or tops, according to his burden; and shall carry two half-pipes, to fill them with water in the day of battle, and repart them among the ord. nance, or other places as shall be thought necessary, and nigh unto them old clothes and coverings, which, with wetting, may destroy any kind of fire.” The wild. fire was to be intrusted only to those who understood well how to use it, “ otherwise it might happen to great danger.” That there might be no excuse for neglecting these orders, on pretence of ignorance concerning them, they were to be publicly read, thrice a week, in every ship, by the purser.
Meantime Elizabeth and her wakeful ministers were well aware of the danger, and seeing it in its whole extent, they prepared to meet it with right English spirit. The lord lieutenants of the several counties were required, by circular letters from the queen, to “call together the best sort of gentlemen under their lieutenancy, and to declare unto them these great preparations and arrogant threatenings, now burst forth in action upon the seas, wherein every man's particular state, in the highest degree, could be touched in respect of country, liberty, wives, children, lands, lives, and (which was specially to be regarded) the profession of the true and sincere religion of Christ. And to lay before them the infinite and unspeakable miseries that would fall out upon any such change, which miseries
PREPARATIONS IN ENGLAND.
were evidently seen by the fruits of that hard and cruel government holden in countries not far distant. We do look,” said the queen, “ that the most part of them should have, upon this instant extraordinary occasion, a larger proportion of furniture, both for horsemen and footmen, but especially horsemen, than hath been certi. fied; thereby to be in their best strength against any attempt, or to be employed about our own person, or otherwise. Hereunto as we doubt not but by your good endeavours they will be the rather comformable, so also we assure ourselves, that Almighty God will so bless these their loyal hearts borne towards us, their loving sovereign, and their natural country, that all the attempts of any enemy whatsoever shall be made void and frustrate, to their confusion, your comfort, and to God's high glory.”* Letters, also, were addressed by the council to the nobility, because, in the directions given of late years for mustering, arming, and training all persons, there had been 'no special ones to the nobles, her majesty having "certainly supposed that it was the natural disposition of the nobility, without direction, to be armed, both for themselves, and for furniture of horsemen and footmen, according to their ability. The council, therefore, having a more certain knowledge than by common report, of what preparations were made beyond the seas, very likely for the offence of this realm, required each lord, to whom this communication was addressed, to receive it as one whom her majesty trusted, and as an argument of special love. And in regard thereof,” the letter proceeds, “ we do not doubt but that your lordship, with all the speed you can possible, will be furnished with armour and weapon meet for your calling ; and of your servants and able tenants that are not already enrolled in the general musters of the country as special trained persons, to make as many horsemen as you can, both for lances and light horsemen. And for the more increase of horsemen, for want of sufficient number of great horse or ding
* Strype. App. L
we think your