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uld attack, and so secure its destruction.
When, in 1588, the much-vaunted Spanish armada came into the British channel for the purpose of invading England and subduing the revolted Netherlands, and was lying in those narrow straits, between Dover and Calais, and along that low, sandy shore--one hundred and thirty ships, the greater number of them the largest and most heavily armed in the world — face to face, and scarce out of cannon shot, with an English fleet of sloops and frigates, all adopted and we make some interesting extracts from Motley's History of the United Netherlands, to show with what effect:
It was decided that Winter's suggestion should be immediately acted upon, and Sir Henry Palmer was sent in a pinnace to Dover, to bring off a number of old vessels, fit to be fired, together, with a supply of light-wood, rosin, sulphur and other combustibles, most adapted to the purpose. * * * As the twilight deepened, the moon became totally obscured, dark cloud-masses
over and Calais, and along that low, sandy shore--one hundred and thirty ships, the greater number of them the largest and most heavily armed in the world — face to face, and scarce out of cannon shot, with an English fleet of sloops and frigates, all far less in size, and immensely inferior in armaments, one of the brave sailors, in a lucky moment remembered something he had heard four years before of the fireships sent by the Antwerpers against Parma's bridge.
This intrepid sea dog, Sir William Winter by name, suggested to the Commander of the fleet that some stratagem of the kind should be attempted against Philip's "invincible armada."
The Italian Gianibelli, who had invented the ships alluded to, and who had ever since been held in holy horror as a devil-dealing wizard, by the superstitious Spanish soldiers, happened at the very moment to be constructing fortifications on the Thames, and Winter shrewdly thought that the knowledge of this fact would greatly increase the panic