« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
barked. But the Flemings, who were more rapacious and less wary, ventured further inland, and being encountered by the power of the country, lost 400 or 500 men before they could regain their ships. That power, indeed, increased so rapidly, and the signs of preparation were so manifest, that, upon intelligence how the duc d'Estampes was near at hand with a force of some 20,000 men*, the commanders thought it not advisable to make any attempt upon Brest. "Yet, in hope to do some farther exploit, they lay hovering on the coast a while; till, after many attempts to land, finding every where more appearance of loss than of gain, they returned from an expedition, which, had it not been for the part that it had casually borne in the battle of Gravelines, would have been worse than useless.† That battle coming like an afterclap after their discomfiture at St. Quentins, dispirited the French as much as the conquest of the English pale had elated them, and disposed the king of France to treat for peace upon terms which he would otherwise have disdained. §
Rabutin (255.) says he had assembled from 7000 to 8000 horse, and from 12,000 to 15,000 foot; ce que j'ay bien voulu adjouster icy, he adds, pour faire paroître en combien d'endroits, tant sur terre que sur mer, la guerre se demenoit pour la querelle de ces deux princes, et combien aussi de divers estranges maux adviennent au pauvre peuple, par le moyen et occasion d'icelles guerres.
† During the negotiations the French contended that "Calais alone was not sufficient to recompense the damages done to them by the English, it being by their help that their towns were taken by the Spaniards; and many villages in Bretagne having been burnt and sacked by the English fleet, and an infinite mass of money spent to prohibit their landings." Camden's Elizabeth, p. 21.
It is remarkable that Ocland, who describes this expedition as if it had been a glorious one, dates it before the loss of Calais, in one of those Latin poems which were enjoined by authority to be read in all grammar schools:
Acta hæc sextili; gelido dein mense Decembri
Intra urbem, et multos non sustinet unus et alter,
1 Some contemporary hand has written in the margin of my copy opposite to this last line the bishop of Winchester.
Ce fut à peu près la second tome de la déroute de S. Quentin. Coll. des Mem. 39. p. 242. n.
Holinshed, 119. Rabutin, 251-255. Thuanus, 570. This battle, he says, quæ acceptam superiore anno cladem, ex quâ Gallia paullatim recreari ceperat, geminato infortunio cumulavit, et regem armorum pertæsum,
During the negotiations queen Mary died. The loss of Calais is believed to have accelerated, if it did not cause, her death :"When I am dead and opened," she said, "ye shall find Calais lying in my heart!" The restitution of that town was earnestly required by Philip, both as a point of honour because England had been drawn into the war for his interest, and as a point of policy, because it was for the benefit of the Netherlands that it should belong to England rather than France. But when Elizabeth declined his offer of marriage, which she could not have accepted without stigmatizing her mother, and bastardizing herself; and when she manifested her intention of supporting the protestant faith, the Spanish ministers relaxed in their demands. This encouraged the cardinal of Lorraine to assert, that the king of Spain, if he loved justice, ought to require that Calais should be delivered to his niece the queen of Scots, then dauphiness, in right of her just claim to be queen of England. The French, on their part, proposed, that the eldest daughter of the dauphiness should marry the eldest son of Elizabeth, and receive Calais for her dowry; and that that place should be retained by France till the marriage were effected between these two persons, neither of whom then were in existence, nor, as it happened, ever afterwards. The English refused to entertain a proposal which was obviously intended only to work delay; and the Spaniards proposed that Calais should be ut into their hands, till France and England could come to an agreement concerning it. To this neither France nor England would agree; Elizabeth then opened a separate negotiation with France, and soon concluded a peace, by the articles of which it was stipulated that France should retain Calais, and its appurtenances, for eight years: eight foreign merchants were bound for the payment of 500,000 crowns, as a penalty, if it were not restored at the expiration of that
PEACE WITH ENGLAND.
quæ illi hactenus irriserant, otii cupidine vel ad iniquas pacis condiciones flexit."
term, the queen's title to that crown continuing good after the payment of that sum. These conditions were ill taken by the people, who considered the loss of Calais a dishonour* only to be repaired by its restoration or recapture. Their indignation was diverted by bringing to trial lord Wentworth the governor, and the captains of the castle and of Risebank: the former was acquitted; the two latter found guilty of treason for abandoning their posts. But, as the sentence was passed in conformity to popular opinion, rather than to any actual demerit on their parts, the punishment was remitted.†
During queen Mary's reign the little island of Sarke was seized by the French: there was at that time only a poor hermitage there, with a little chapel appertaining to it, the isle itself serving as a common to the people of Guernsey for breeding their cattle; but when occupied by an enemy it could never have been recovered by strong hand, the cattle supplying them with abundant food, as well as the ground which they cultivated, and there being but one ascent to it, for nature has so walled it round with rocks, and rendered it every way so inaccessible, that it might be held, says sir Walter Raleigh, against the Great Turk. Some Netherlanders recovered it by stratagem: they anchored in the road with one ship of small burden, and requested leave to bury their owner there in hallowed ground, offering the French,
The lord-keeper Bacon spoke thus concerning it at the opening of Elizabeth's first parliament :-" Could there have happened to this imperial crown a greater loss in honour, strength, and treasure, than to lose that place, I mean Calais, which was in the beginning so nobly won, and hath so long time, so honourably and politicly, in all ages and times, and against all attempts both foreign and near, both of forces and treasons, been defended and kept? Did not the keeping of this breed fear to our greatest enemies, and make our faint friends the more assured and loather to break? Yea, hath not the winning and keeping of this bred throughout Europe an ho nourable opinion and report of our English nation? Again, what one thing so much preserved and guarded our merchants, their traffic and intercourses, or hath been so great a help for the well-uttering of our chief commodities; or what so much as this hath kept a great part of our sea coast from spoiling and robbing? To be short, the loss of this is much greater than I am able to utter, and as yet, I suppose, is able to be understood by any. Marry, withal, I think there is no man so hard-hearted in thinking of it, but for the restoring of it would adventure lands, limbs, yea, the life." Parl. Hist. i. 640.
+ Camden's Elizabeth (English trans. 4th edition), 21-25. Holinshed, 183, 184.
who were some thirty in number, a present of such commodities as they had on board, and engaging not to come ashore with any weapon, not even a knife; for upon this the garrison insisted. A coffin accordingly was lowered into the boat, some of the crew landed, and having been carefully searched, were allowed to draw the coffin up the rocks, which was done with great difficulty. Some of the French took the Flemish boat, and boarded the vessel, to receive the promised present: as soon as they were on board they were seized and secured. Meantime the Flemings who had landed carried the coffin into the chapel, shut the door, opened the coffin, armed themselves with the swords, targets, and harquebusses with which it was filled, and set upon the French: they ran to the cliff and called upon their comrades for help; but when they saw the boat returning with more Flemings, they yielded themselves and the place.*
Till this time the naval history of England had been confined to its own seas and the adjacent shores; but thenceforward a wider range was opened; distant enterprises were undertaken, and events of far greater moment in themselves, and in their consequences, are to be recorded. The individual agents, as well as the actions themselves, become more important; and the history may, from this period, more conveniently be continued in a series of the lives of those great commanders, who, serving their country, each in his generation, asserted, established, and maintained her maritime superiority, and thereby secured her independence, and with it those liberties, civil and religious, wherewith this nation has hitherto been above all nations conspicuously blessed.
*Raleigh's Hist. of the World, book iv. ch. 2. s. 18. Hakewell's Apology, 258. Heylin's Survey, 296. "Thus," says sir Walter, "a fox-tail doth sometimes help well to piece out the lion's skin that else would be too short." The archdeacon calls it a stratagem," in his judgment matchable to any that ever yet he heard of." And Peter Heylin says it is "to be compared, if not preferred, unto any of the ancients, did not that fatal folly reprehended once by Tacitus still reign amongst us, quod vetera extollimus, recentium incuriosi." It was, however, no new stratagem; nor ought any stratagem ever to be recorded with approbation in which the generosity or the humanity of an enemy has been abused.
CHARLES, SECOND LORD HOWARD OF EFFINGHAM,
AND FIRST EARL OF NOTTINGHAM.
CHARLES, eldest son of lord William Howard, and grandson of Thomas, second duke of Norfolk, was born in 1536. Margaret, his mother, was daughter of sir Thomas Gamage of Coity, in Glamorganshire. His father was one of the courtiers who accompanied king Henry to the Field of the Cloth of Gold, having (it is recorded) in his retinue eleven servants and two horsekeepers; he assisted as proxy for his brother, the duke and earl marshal, at the coronation of Anne Boleyn; and, after the conviction of his niece, queen Catherine Howard, was found guilty, with his lady, of misprision of treason, for not having revealed what they knew of her misconduct, and condemned to perpetual imprisonment, with forfeiture of their goods, and of the profits of their lands during life. This sentence was soon remitted, in consideration of his services, "and it may be of his innocence." He attended on Henry at the siege of Boulogne; and, in the ensuing reign, was one of the first favourers and furtherers, with his purse and countenance, of," what Fuller calls, "the strange and wonderful discovery of Russia," being one of those who were incorporated as merchant-adventurers to Moscovy; and, "at their own cost and charges, provided those ships to discover territories unknown, northwards, north-eastwards, and north-westwards.” The expedition is memorable both in naval and commercial history: for the commander, sir Hugh Willoughby, after discovering Greenland, was frozen to death, with all his ship's company, in a haven on the