« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
On the 23d June, Lord C. Howard addresses another letter to Sir Francis Walsingham, chiefly to let him know that he was about to get under way; that the foul weather that forced him in, no doubt dispersed the Spanish fleet; and advises that Her Majesty trust no more to Judas's kisses, assuring herself there is no trusting to the French King nor to the Duke of Parma. "Let her defend herself like a noble and mighty Prince; and trust to her sword and not to their word, and then she need not to fear, for her good God will defend her." He distrusts the Duke of Guise, and means to pay a visit to the coast of France.
23 June, 1588. LORD HOWARD TO MR. SECRETARY WALSINGHAM. SIR,
This Sonday about 7 of the cloke at nyght I recevid your letter of the 22 of this present, and the advertysments with them, wyche I dow most hartely thank you for but I parceave by your letter there shuld another letter come from my Lordse to Mr. Dorell, and also a warante that the poursyfant shuld brynge, wyche shuld be open for me, but he nether browght the Lordse letter nor any suche warrant. Sir, I pray you pardon me that I dow not send yow the namse of the townse devyded, suche as be wyllyng, and suche as be not. Sir F. Drake hathe the newse of them, now at this ower is full ocupyed, as I am also. Our watche chame to us this last nyght about 12 of the cloke, and we wyll not ete nor slype tell it be abourd We must not lose an ower of tyme. You shall see by a letter that I have sent Heer Majestie what advertysment I have. I meen to way presently and set sayle:
this foull wether that was on Thursday, that forsed us in surty, disparsed the Spanyshe flyt: it shall goo hard but I wyll fynd them out. Let Heer Majestie trust no mor to Judises kyses; for let heer asure heerself ther is no trust to F. K. (French king) nor Duke of Parme. Let heer defend heerself lyke a noble and mightie Prynce: and trust to heer sworde and not to ther word, and then she ned not to feer, for heer good God wyll defend her.
Sir, I have a pryvy intelligence, by a sure fello, that the flyt of Spayne dowthe meen to come to the cost of France, and ther to receve in the Duke of Guyse, and great forses and it is very lykly to be trew. I meen, God wyllyng, to vyset the cost of France, and to send in small penyses to discover all the cost alongst.
If I heer of them, I hope, ar it be long after, you shall heer newse. God Mr. Secretary, let the narro sees be well strantened (strengthened). What charge is ill spent now for service? Let the Hoyse of Harwyge (Harwich) goo with all speed agayne to my Lord H. Semor, for they be of great sarvyse.
Sir, for these thyngs heer I pray take order with Mr. Dorell, for I have no lesur to thynk of them. I pray you, Sir, delyver my letter unto Heer Majestie with my humble duty, and so in hast I bid you farwell.
Abourd the Arke, this Sonday, at 12 of the clok at nyght. Your assured lovying frend,
(No date, but supposed June 23d, 1588.)
Sir, God wyllyng, I wyll com sayll within this three houers.
To my very lovyng frend,
*MS. State Paper Office.
THE SPANISH ARMADA, CALLED THE INVINCIBLE.
The Armada in the Channel-Anecdote—First attack-Note on a Spanish MS. Journal-Daily proceedings of the two fleets -Dispersion of the Armada by fire-ships-Driven into the North Sea-Disastrous reduction and condition-Various letters from the Lord High Admiral-Sir Francis Drake, and Lord Henry Seymour.
THE day was now approaching when the great contest was to be decided between two of the most powerful fleets that had hitherto ever met in hostile array; the palm to be contended for, on the one hand, was the preservation of an empire, the crown, religion, and independence; on the other, conquest, bigotry, and slavery. On the 19th day of July, the Lord High Admiral having received certain information from one Fleming, the master of a pinnace, that the Spanish fleet was in the Channel, near the Lizard Point, lost not a moment in towing out the British fleet from the port of Plymouth, the wind blowing in stiffly; but the alacrity and the industry, assisted and encouraged by the Admiral in person, overcame all difficulty.
The following anecdote may or may not be true, but the authority on which it rests is noted. The labour on that day, as above stated by the Lord Admiral, in warping out the ships, makes it very improbable.
"It is traditionally reported, that when the news reached the British Navy of the sudden appearance of the Armada off the Lizard, the principal commanders were on shore at Plymouth playing bowls, on the Hoe; and it is added that Drake insisted on the match being played out, saying, that 'There would be plenty of time to win the game, and beat the Spaniards too.""*
On the following day, the 20th, the Spanish fleet were discovered with their lofty turrets, like so many floating castles; their line extending its wings about seven miles, in the shape of a half-moon, proceeding very slowly, though with full sail, "The winds," says Camden, "being as it were tired with carrying them, and the ocean seeming to groan under the weight of their heavy burdens."†
21st July. The Lord High Admiral, on their passing, sent out his pinnace, named the Disdain, in advance, challenged the Duke of Sidonia to give the defiance by firing off her ordnance, as a declaration of war, when his own flag-ship, the Ark Royal, “thundered thick and furiously upon a large ship which he thought to be the Spanish Admiral,
* Tytler's Raleigh, Edin. edit., 1835.
but was that of Alphonso de Leyva. At the same time Drake, Hawkins and Frobisher played stoutly upon the rear division of the fleet, commanded by General Juan de Recaldé, whose ship and others, being much shattered, made shift to get away to the main body, under the Duke of Medina Sidonia." A Spanish narrative says she was disabled, her rigging cut up, and two shot lodging in her foremast that the flag-ship took in her sails, and waited to receive her into the line; that the Duke now collected his scattered fleet, not being able to do more on this occasion, as the enemy had gained the wind. "Their (the English) vessels," he says, "were well fought, and under such good management, that they did with them what they pleased."* The fight having continued two hours, and forty sail of the English fleet, the last out of the harbour, not having yet joined, the Admiral thought good not to press them further this day.
The following letter from Lord Charles Howard describes the fight very briefly; and is one of the
"A Narrative of the Voyages of the Royal Armada, from the Port of Corunna, under the command of the Duke of Medina Sidonia, with an account of the events which took place during the said voyage." This manuscript, in the Spanish language, was sent to a gentleman of the Admiralty, from the archives of Madrid, after the conclusion of the revolutionary war. It is evidently a journal kept by an officer of the Duke of Medina's flag-ship, and, it may safely be pronounced a modest and honest narrative.