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The miraculous victory atchieved by the English Fleete, under the discreet and happy conduct of the right honourable, right prudent, and valiant lord, the L. Charles Howard, L. high Admirall of England, &c. Upon the Spanish huge Armada sent in the yeere 1588. for the invasion of England, together with the wofull and miserable successe of the said Armada afterward, upon the coasts of Norway , of the Scottish Westerne Isles, of Ireland , of Spaine, of France, and of England, &c. Recorded in Latine by Emanuel van Meteran in the 15. booke of his history of the low Countreys.

HAVING in part declared the strange and wonderfull events of the yeere eightie eight, which hath bene so long time foretold by ancient prophesies; we will now make relation of the most notable and great enterprise of all others which were in the foresaid yeere atchieved, in order as it was done. Which exploit (although in very deed it was not performed in any part of the low Countreys) was intended for their ruine and destruction. And it was the expedition which the Spanish king, having a long time determined the same in his minde, and having consulted thereabout with the Pope, set foorth and undertooke against England and the low Countreys. To the end that he might subdue the Realme of England, and reduce it unto his catholique Religion, and by that meanes might be sufficiently revenged for the disgrace, contempt and dishonour, which hee (having 34. yeeres before enforced them to the Popes obedience) had endured of the English nation, and for divers other injuries which had taken deepe impression in his thoughts. And also for that hee deemed this to bee the most readie and direct course, whereby hee might recover his heredetarie possession of the lowe Countreys, having restrained the inhabitants from sayling upon the coast of England. Which verily, upon most weighty arguments and evident reasons, was thought would undoubtly have come to passe, considering the great aboundance and store of all things necessary wherewith those men were furnished, which had the managing of that action committed unto them. But now let us describe the matter more particularly.

The Spanish King having with small fruite and commoditie, for above twentie yeeres together, waged warre against the Netherlanders, after deliberation with his counsellers thereabout, thought it most convenient to assault them once againe by Sea, which had bene attempted sundry times heretofore, but not with forces sufficient. Unto the which expedition it stoode him nowe in hand to joyne great puissance, as having the English people his professed enemies; whose Island is so situate, that it may either greatly helpe or hinder all such as saile into those parts. For which cause hee thought good first of all to invade England, being perswaded by his Secretary Escovedo, and by divers other well experienced Spaniards and Dutchmen, and by many English fugitives, that the conquest of that Iland was lesse difficult then the conquest of Holland and Zeland. Moreover the Spaniards were of opinion, that it would bee farre more behoveful for their King to conquere England and the lowe Countreys all at once, then to be constrained continually to maintaine a warlike Navie to defend his East and West Indie Fleetes, from the English Drake, and from such like valiant enemies.

And for the same purpose the king Catholique had given commandement long before in Italy and Spaine, that a great quantitie of timber should be felled for the building of shippes; and had besides made great preparation of things and furniture requisite for such an expedition; as namely in founding of brasen Ordinance, in storing up of corne and victuals, in trayning of men to use warlike weapons, in leavying and mustering of souldiers: insomuch that about the beginning of the yeere 1588. he had finished such a mightie Navie, and brought it into Lisbon haven, as never the like had before that time sailed upon the Ocean sea.

A very large and particular description of this Navie was put in print and published by the Spaniards; wherein were set downe the number, names, and burthens of the shippes, the number of Mariners and souldiers throughout the whole Fleete; likewise the quantitie of their Ordinance, of their armour, of bullets, of match, of gunpoulder, of victuals, and of all their Navall furniture was in the saide description particularized. Unto all these were added the names of the Governours, Captaines, Noblemen and gentlemen voluntaries, of whom there was so great a multitude, that scarce was there any family of accompt, or any one principall man throughout all Spaine, that had not a brother, sonne or kinseman in that Fleete: who all of them were in good hope to purchase unto themselves in that Navie (as they termed it) invincible, endlesse glory and renowne, and to possesse themselves of great Seigniories and riches in England, and in the lowe Countreys. But because the said description was translated and published out of Spanish into divers other languages, we will here onely make an abridgement or briefe rehearsall thereof.

  • Portugal furnished and set foorth under the conduct of the duke of Medina Sidonia generall of the Fleete, ten Galeons, two Zabraes, 1300. Mariners, 3300. souldiers, 300. great pieces, with all requisite furniture.
  • Biscay , under the conduct of John Martines de Ricalde Admiral of the whole Fleete, set forth tenne Galeons, 4. Pataches, 700. mariners, 2000. souldiers, 250. great pieces, &c.
  • Guipusco, under the conduct of Michael de Oquendo, tenne Galeons, 4. Pataches, 700. mariners, 2000. souldiers, 310. great pieces.
  • Italy with the Levant Islands, under Martine de Vertendona, 10. Galeons, 800. mariners, 2000. souldiers, 310. great pieces, &c.
  • Castile , under Diego Flores de Valdez, 14. Galeons, two Pataches, 1700. mariners, 2400. souldiers, and 380. great pieces, &c.
  • Andaluzia, under the conduct of Petro de Valdez, 10. Galeons, one Patache, 800. mariners, 2400. souldiers, 280. great pieces, &c.
  • Item, under the conduct of John Lopez de Medina, 23. great Flemish hulkes, with 700. mariners, 3200. souldiers, and 400. great pieces.
  • Item, under Hugo de Moncada, foure Galliasses containing 1200. gally-slaves, 460. mariners, 870. souldiers, 200. great pieces, &c.
  • Item, under Diego de Mandrana, foure Gallies of Portugall, with 888. gally-slaves, 360. mariners, 20. great pieces, and other requisite furniture.
  • Item, under Anthonie de Mendoza, 22. Pataches and Zabraes, with 574. mariners, 488. souldiers, and 193. great pieces.

Besides the ships aforementioned there were 20. caravels rowed with oares, being appointed to performe necessary services unto the greater ships: insomuch that all the ships appertayning to this Navie amounted unto the summe of 150. eche one being sufficiently provided of furniture and victuals.

The number of Mariners in the saide Fleete were above 8000. of slaves 2088. of souldiers 20000. (besides noblemen and gentlemen voluntaries) of great cast pieces 2650. The foresaid ships were of an huge and incredible capacitie and receipt. For the whole Fleete was large ynough to containe the burthen of 60. thousand tunnes.

The Galeons were 64. in number, being of an huge bignesse, and very stately built, being of marveilous force also, and so high, that they resembled great castles, most fit to defend themselves and to withstand any assault, but in giving any other ships the encounter farre inferiour unto the English and Dutch ships, which can with great dexteritie weild and turne themselves at all assayes. The upperworke of the said Galeons was of thicknesse and strength sufficient to beare off musket-shot. The lower worke and the timbers thereof were out of measure strong, being framed of plankes and ribs foure or five foote in thicknesse, insomuch that no bullets could pierce them, but such as were discharged hard at hand: which afterward prooved true, for a great number of bullets were founde to sticke fast within the massie substance of those thicke plankes. Great and well pitched Cables were twined about the masts of their shippes, to strengthen them against the battery of shot.

The Galliasses were of such bignesse, that they contained within them chambers, chapels, turrets, pulpits, and other commodities of great houses. The Galliasses were rowed with great oares, there being in eche one of them 300. slaves for the same purpose, and were able to do great service with the force of their Ordinance. All these together with the residue aforenamed were furnished and beautified with trumpets, streamers, banners, warlike ensignes, and other such like ornaments.

Their pieces of brasen ordinance were 1600. and of yron a 1000.

The bullets thereto belonging were 120. thousand.

Item of gun-poulder 5600. quintals. Of matche 1200. quintals.

Of muskets and kaleivers 7000. Of haleberts and partisans 10000.

Moreover they had great store of canons, doublecanons, culverings and field-pieces for land services.

Likewise they were provided of all instruments necessary on land to conveigh and transport their furniture from place to place; as namely of carts, wheeles, wagons, &c. Also they had spades, mattocks and baskets to set pioners on worke. They had in like sort great store of mules and horses, and whatsoever else was requisite for a land-armie. They were so well stored of biscuit, that for the space of halfe a yeere, they might allow eche person in the whole Fleete halfe a quintall every moneth; whereof the whole summe amounteth unto an hundreth thousand quintals.

Likewise of wine they had 147. thousand pipes, sufficient also for halfe a yeeres expedition. Of bacon 6500. quintals. Of cheese three thousand quintals. Besides fish, rise, beanes, pease, oile, vineger, &c.

Moreover they had 12000. pipes of fresh-water, and all other necessary provision, as namely candles, lanternes, lampes, sailes, hempe, oxe-hides and lead to stop holes that should be made with the battery of gunshot. To be short, they brought all things expedient either for a Fleete by sea, or for an armie by land.

This Navie (as Diego Pimentelli afterward confessed) was esteemed by the King himselfe to containe 32000. persons, and to cost him every day 30. thousand ducates.

There were in the said Navie five terzaes of Spaniards, (which terzaes the Frenchmen call Regiments) under the commaund of five governours termed by the Spaniards, Masters of the field, and amongst the rest there were many olde and expert souldiers chosen out of the garisons of Sicilie, Naples , and Tercera. Their Captaines or Colonels were Diego Pimentelli, Don Francisco de Toledo, Don Alonco de Lucon, Don Nicolas de Isla, Don Augustin de Mexia; who had eche of them 32. companies under their conduct. Besides the which companies there were many bands also of Castilians and Portugals, every one of which had their peculiar governours, captaines, officers, colours and weapons.

It was not lawfull for any man, under grievous penaltie, to cary any women or harlots in the Fleete: for which cause the women hired certaine shippes, wherein they sailed after the Navie: some of the which being driven by tempest arrived upon the coast of France.

The generall of this mightie Navie, was Don Alonso Perez de Guzman duke of Medina Sidonia, Lord of S. Lucar, and knight of the golden Fleece: by reason that the Marques of santa Cruz appointed for the same dignitie, deceased before the time.

John Martines de Ricalde was Admirall of the Fleete.

Francis Bovadilla was chiefe Marshall: who all of them had their officers fit and requisite for the guiding and managing of such a multitude. Likewise Martin Alorcon was appointed Vicar generall of the Inquisition, being accompanied with more then a hundreth Monkes, to wit, Jesuites, Capuchines, and friers mendicant. Besides whom also there were Phisitians, Chirurgians, Apothecaries, and whatsoever else perteined unto the hospitall.

Over and besides the forenamed governours and officers being men of chiefe note, there were 124. very noble and worthy Gentlemen, which went voluntarily of their owne costs and charges, to the ende they might see fashions, learne experience, and attaine unto glory. Amongst whom was the prince of Ascoli, Alonzo de Leiva, the marques de Pennafiel, the marques de Ganes, the marques de Barlango, count de Paredes, count de Yelvas, and divers other marqueses and earles of the honourable families of Mendoza , of Toledo , of Pachieco, of Cordova , of Guzman , of Manricques, and a great number of others.

While the Spaniards were furnishing this their Navie, the duke of Parma, at the direction of king Philip, made great preparation in the low Countreys, to give ayd & assistance unto the Spaniards; building ships for the same purpose, and sending for Pilots and ship-wrights out of Italy .

In Flanders hee caused certaine deepe chanels to be made, and among the rest the chanell of Yper commonly called Yper-lee, employing some thousands of workemen about that service: to the end that by the said chanel he might transport ships from Antwerp and Ghendt to Bruges, where hee had assembled above a hundreth small ships called hoyes being well stored with victuals, which hoyes hee was determined to have brought into the sea by the way of Sluys , or else to have conveyed them by the saide Yper-lee being now of greater depth, into any port of Flanders whatsoever.

In the river of Waten he caused 70. ships with flat bottomes to be built, every one of which should serve to cary 30. horses, having eche of them bridges likewise for the horses to come on boord, or to goe foorth on land. Of the same fashion he had provided 200. other vessels at Neiuport, but not so great. And at Dunkerk hee procured 28. ships of warre, such as were there to be had, and caused a sufficient number of Mariners to be levied at Hamburgh, Breme , Emden , and at other places. Hee put in the ballast of the said ships, great store of beames of thicke plankes, being hollow and beset with yron pikes beneath, but on eche side full of claspes and hookes, to joyne them together.

Hee had likewise at Greveling provided 20. thousand of caske, which in a short space might be compact and joyned together with nailes and cords, and reduced into the forme of a bridge. To be short, whatsoever things were requisite for the making of bridges, and for the barring and stopping up of havens mouthes with stakes, posts, and other meanes, he commanded to be made ready. Moreover not farre from Neiuport haven, he had caused a great pile of wooden fagots to be layd, and other furniture to be brought for the rearing up of a mount. The most part of his ships conteined two ovens a piece to bake bread in, with a great number of sadles, bridles, and such other like apparell for horses. They had horses likewise, which after their landing should serve to convey, and draw engines, field-pieces, and other warlike provisions.

Neere unto Neiuport he had assembled an armie, over the which he had ordained Camillo de Monte to be Campmaster. This army consisted of 30. bands or ensignes of Italians, of tenne bands of Wallons, eight of Scots, and eight of Burgundians, all which together amount unto 56. bands, every band containing a hundreth persons. Neare unto Dixmud there were mustered 80. bands of Dutch men, sixtie of Spaniards, sixe of high Germans, and seven bands of English fugitives, under the conduct of sir William Stanlie an English knight.

In the suburbes of Cortreight there were 4000. horsemen together with their horses in a readinesse: and at Waten 900. horses, with the troupe of the Marques del Gwasto Captaine generall of the horsemen.

Unto this famous expedition and presupposed victorie, many potentates, princes, and honourable personages hied themselves: out of Spaine the prince of Melito called the duke of Pastrana and taken to be the sonne of one Ruygomes de Silva, but in very deed accompted among the number of king Philips base sonnes. Also the Marques of Burgrave, one of the sonnes of Archiduke Ferdinand and Philippa Welsera. Vespasian Gonsaga of the family of Mantua , being for chivalry a man of great renowne, and heretofore Vice-roy in Spaine. Item John Medices base sonne unto the duke of Florence . And Amadas of Savoy , the duke of Savoy his base sonne, with many others of inferiour degrees.

Likewise Pope Sixtus quintus for the setting forth of the foresaid expedition, as they use to do against Turkes & infidels, published a Cruzado, with most ample indulgences which were printed in great numbers. These vaine buls the English and Dutchmen deriding, sayd that the devill at all passages lay in ambush like a thiefe, no whit regarding such letters of safe conduct. Some there be which affirme that the Pope had bestowed the realme of England with the title of Defensor fidei, upon the king of Spaine, giving him charge to invade it upon this condition, that hee should enjoy the conquered realm, as a vassal and tributarie, in that regard, unto the sea of Rome. To this purpose the said Pope proffered a million of gold, the one halfe thereof to be paied in readie money, and the other halfe when the realme of England or any famous port thereof were subdued. And for the greater furtherance of the whole businesse, he dispatched one D. Allen an English man (whom hee had made Cardinall for the same ende and purpose) into the Low countries, unto whom he committed the administration of all matters ecclesiasticall throughout England. This Allen being enraged against his owne native countrey, caused the Popes bull to be translated into English, meaning upon the arrival of the Spanish fleete, to have it so published in England. By which Bull the excommunications of the two former Popes were confirmed, and the Queenes most sacred Majestie was by them most unjustly deprived of all princely titles and dignities, her subjects being enjoined to performe obedience unto the duke of Parma, and unto the Popes Legate.

But that all matters might be performed with greater secrecie, and that the whole expedition might seeme rather to be intended against the Low countries, then against England, and that the English people might be perswaded that all was but bare words & threatnings, and that nought would come to effect, there was a solemne meeting appointed at Borborch in Flanders for a treatie of peace betweene her majestie and the Spanish king.

Against which treatie the united provinces making open protestation, used all meanes possible to hinder it, alleaging that it was more requisite to consult how the enemie now pressing upon them might be repelled from off their frontiers. Howbeit some there were in England that greatly urged and prosecuted this league, saying, that it would be very commodious unto the state of the realme, as well in regard of traffique and navigation, as for the avoiding of great expenses to maintaine the warres, affirming also, that at the same time peace might easily and upon reasonable conditions be obtained of the Spaniard. Others thought by this meanes to divert some other way, or to keepe backe the navy now comming upon them, and so to escape the danger of that tempest. Howsoever it was, the duke of Parma by these wiles enchanted and dazeled the eyes of many English & Dutch men that were desirous of peace: whereupon it came to passe, that England and the united provinces prepared in deed some defence to withstand that dreadfull expedition and huge Armada, but nothing in comparison of the great danger which was to be feared, albeit the constant report of the whole expedition had continued rife among them for a long time before. Howbeit they gave eare unto the relation of certaine that sayd, that this navie was provided to conduct and waft over the Indian Fleets: which seemed the more probable because the Spaniards were deemed not to be men of so small discretion as to adventure those huge and monstrous ships upon the shallow and dangerous chanel of England.

At length when as the French king about the end of May signified unto her Majestie in plaine termes that she should stand upon her guard, because he was now most certainly enformed, that there was so dangerous an invasion imminent upon her realme, that he feared much least all her land and sea-forces would be sufficient to withstand it, &c. then began the Queens Majestie more carefully to gather her forces together, & to furnish her town ships of warre, & the principall ships of her subjects with souldiers, weapons, and other necessary provision. The greatest and strongest ships of the whole navy she sent unto Plimmouth under the conduct of the right honorable Lord Charles Howard, lord high Admirall of England, &c. Under whom the renoumed Knight Sir Francis Drake was appointed Vice-admiral. The number of these ships was about an hundreth. The lesser ships being 30. or 40. in number, and under the conduct of the lord Henry Seimer were commanded to lie between Dover and Caleis.

On land likewise throughout the whole realme, souldiers were mustered and trained in all places, and were committed unto the most resolute and faithfull captaines. And whereas it was commonly given out that the Spaniard having once united himselfe unto the duke of Parma , ment to invade by the river of Thames, there was at Tilburie in Essex over-against Gravesend , a mightie army encamped, and on both sides of the river fortifications were erected, according to the prescription of Frederike Genebelli an Italian enginier. Likewise there were certaine ships brought to make a bridge, though it were very late first. Unto the sayd army came in proper person the Queens most roiall Majestie, representing Tomyris that Scythian warlike princesse, or rather divine Pallas her selfe. Also there were other such armies levied in England.

The principall catholique Recusants (least they should stirre up any tumult in the time of the Spanish invasion) were sent to remaine at certaine convenient places, as namely in the Isle of Ely and at Wisbich. And some of them were sent unto other places, to wit, unto sundry bishops and noblemen, where they were kept from endangering the state of the common wealth, and of her sacred Majestie, who of her most gracious clemencie gave expresse commandement, that they should be intreated with all humanitie and friendship.

The provinces of Holland and Zeland, &c. giving credite unto their intelligence out of Spain , made preparation to defend themselves: but because the Spanish ships were described unto them to be so huge, they relied partly upon the shallow and dangerous seas all along their coasts. Wherfore they stood most in doubt of the duke of Parma his small and flat-bottomed ships. Howbeit they had all their ships of warre to the number of 90. and above, in a readinesse for all assayes : the greater part whereof were of a small burthen, as being more meete to saile upon their rivers and shallow seas: and with these ships they besieged all the havens in Flanders, beginning at the mouth of Scheld, or from the towne of Lillo , and holding on to Greveling and almost unto Caleis, & fortified all their sea-townes with strong garrisons.

Against the Spanish fleets arrivall, they had provided 25. or 30. good ships, committing the government of them unto Admirall Lonck, whom they commanded to joine himselfe unto the lord Henry Seymer, lying betweene Dover and Cales . And when as the foresaid ships, (whereof the greater part besieged the haven of Dunkerke) were driven by tempest into Zeland, Justin of Nassau the Admiral of Zeland supplied that squadron with 35. ships being of no great burthen, but excellently furnished with gunnes, mariners and souldiers in great abundance, and especially with 1200. brave Musquetiers, having bene accustomed unto sea-fights, and being chosen out of all their companies for the same purpose: and so the said Justin of Nassau kept such diligent ward in that Station that the duke of Parma could not issue foorth with his navy into the sea out of any part of Flanders.

In the meane while the Spanish Armada set saile out of the haven of Lisbon upon the 19. of May, An. Dom. 1588. under the conduct of the duke of Medina Sidonia, directing their course for the Baie of Corunna, alias the Groine of Gallicia, where they tooke in souldiers and warlike provision, this port being in Spaine the neerest unto England. As they were sailing along, there arose such a mightie tempest, that the whole Fleete was dispersed, so that when the duke was returned unto his company, he could not escry above 80. ships in all, whereunto the residue by litle and litle joyned themselves, except eight which had their mastes blowen over-boord. One of the foure gallies of Portingal escaped very hardly, retiring her selfe into the haven. The other three were upon the coast of Baion in France, by the assistance and courage of one David Gwin an English captive (whom the French and Turkish slaves aided in the same enterprise) utterly disabled and vanquished: one of the three being first overcome, which conquered the two other, with the slaughter of their governours and souldiers, and among the rest of Don Diego de Mandrana with sundry others: and so those slaves arriving in France with the three Gallies, set themselves at libertie.

The navy having refreshed themselves at the Groine, & receiving daily commandement from the king to hasten their journey, hoised up sailes the 11. day of July, and so holding on their course till the 19. of the same moneth, they came then unto the mouth of the narow seas or English chanel. From whence (striking their sailes in the meane season) they dispatched certaine of their smal ships unto the duke of Parma. At the same time the Spanish Fleete was escried by an English pinasse, captaine whereof was M. Thomas Fleming, after they had bene advertised of the Spaniards expedition by their scoutes and espials, which having ranged along the coast of Spaine, were lately returned home into Plimmouth for a new supply of victuals and other necessaries, who considering the foresayd tempest, were of opinion that the navy being of late dispersed and tossed up and downe the maine Ocean, was by no means able to performe their intended voiage.

Moreover, the L. Charles Howard L. high admiral of England had received letters from the court, signifying unto him that her Majestie was advertised that the Spanish Fleete would not come foorth, nor was to be any longer expected for, and therefore, that upon her Majesties commandement he must send backe foure of her tallest and strongest ships unto Chattam.

The lord high Admiral of England being thus on the sudden, namely upon the 19. of July about foure of the clocke in the afternoone, enformed by the pinasse of captaine Fleming aforesaid, of the Spaniards approch, with all speed and diligence possible he warped his ships, and caused his mariners and souldiers (the greater part of whom was absent for the cause aforesayd) to come on boord, and that with great trouble and difficultie, insomuch that the lord Admiral himselfe was faine to lie without in the road with sixe ships onely all that night, after the which many others came foorth of the haven. The very next day being the 20. of July about high noone, was the Spanish Fleete escried by the English, which with a Southwest wind caine sailing along, and passed by Plimmouth: in which regard (according to the judgement of many skilful navigators) they greatly overshot themselves, whereas it had bene more commodious for them to have staied themselves there, considering that the Englishmen being as yet unprovided, greatly relied upon their owne forces, and knew not the estate of the Spanish navy. Moreover, this was the most convenient port of all others, where they might with greater securitie have bene advertised of the English forces, and how the commons of the land stood affected, and might have stirred up some mutinie, so that hither they should have bent all their puissance, and from hence the duke of Parma might more easily have conveied his ships.

But this they were prohibited to doe by the king and his counsell, and were expressely commanded to unite themselves unto the souldiers and ships of the said duke of Parma , and so to bring their purpose to effect. Which was thought to be the most easie and direct course, for that they imagined that the English and Dutch men would be utterly daunted and dismaied thereat, and would each man of them retire unto his owne Province and Porte for the defence thereof, and transporting the armie of the duke under the protection of their huge navy, they might invade England.

It is reported that the chiefe commanders in the navy, and those which were more skilfull in navigation, to wit, John Martines de Ricalde, Diego Flores de Valdez, and divers others found fault that they were bound unto so strict directions and instructions, because that in such a case many particular accidents ought to concurre and to be respected at one and the same instant, that is to say, the opportunitie of the wind, weather, time, tide, and ebbe, wherein they might saile from Flanders to England. Oftentimes also the darkenesse and light, the situation of places, the depths and shoulds were to be considered: all which especially depended upon the conveniencie of the windes, and were by so much the more dangerous.

But it seemeth that they were enjoined by their commission to ancre neere unto, or about Caleis, whither the duke of Parma with his ships and all his warrelike provision was to resort, and while the English and Spanish great ships were in the midst of their conflict, to passe by, and to land his souldiers upon the Downes.

The Spanish captives reported that they were determined first to have entred the river of Thames, and thereupon to have passed with small ships up to London, supposing that they might easily winne that rich and flourishing Citie being but meanely fortified and inhabited with Citizens not accustomed to the warres, who durst not withstand their first encounter, hoping moreover to finde many rebels against her Majestie and popish catholiques, or some favourers of the Scottish queene (which was not long before most justly beheaded) who might be instruments of sedition.

Thus often advertising the duke of Parma of their approch, the 20. of July they passed by Plimmouth, which the English ships pursuing and getting the wind of them, gave them the chase and the encounter, and so both Fleets frankly exchanged their bullets.

The day following which was the 21. of July, the English ships approched within musquet shot of the Spanish: at what time the lorde Charles Howard most hotly and valiantly discharged his Ordinance upon the Spanish Vice-admirall. The Spaniards then well perceiv ing the nimblenesse of the English ships in discharging upon the enimie on all sides, gathered themselves close into the forme of an halfe moone, and slackened their sailes, least they should outgoe any of their companie. And while they were proceeding on in this maner, one of their great Galliasses was so furiously battered with shot, that the whole navy was faine to come up rounder together for the safegard thereof: whereby it came to passe that the principall Galleon of Sivill (wherein Don Pedro de Valdez, Vasques de Silva, Alonzo de Sayas, and other noble men were embarqued) falling foule of another shippe, had her fore-mast broken, and by that meanes was not able to keepe way with the Spanish Fleete, neither would the sayde Fleete stay to succour it, but left the distressed Galeon behind. The lord Admirall of England when he saw this ship of Valdez, & thought she had bene voyd of Mariners and Souldiers, taking with him as many shippes as he could, passed by it, that he might not loose sight of the Spanish Fleet that night. For sir Francis Drake (who was notwithstanding appointed to beare out his lanterne that night) was giving of chase unto five great Hulkes which had separated themselves from the Spanish Fleete: but finding them to be Easterlings, he dismissed them. The lord Admirall all that night following the Spanish lanterne in stead of the English, found himselfe in the morning to be in the midst of his enimies Fleete, but when he perceived it, hee cleanly conveyed himselfe out of that great danger.

The day folowing, which was the two and twentie of July, Sir Francis Drake espied Valdez his shippe, whereunto hee sent foorth his pinnasse, and being advertised that Valdez himselfe was there, and 450. persons with him, he sent him word that he should yeeld himselfe. Valdez for his honors sake caused certaine conditions to be propounded unto Drake: who answered Valdez that he was not now at laisure to make any long parle, but if he would yeeld himselfe, he should find him friendly and tractable: howbeit if he had resolved to die in fight, he should proove Drake to be no dastard.

Upon which answere Valdez and his company understanding that they were fallen into the hands of fortunate Drake, being mooved with the renoume and celebritie of his name, with one consent yeelded themselves, and found him very favourable unto them. Then Valdez with 40. or 50. noblemen and gentlemen pertaining unto him, came on boord sir Francis Drakes ship. The residue of his company were caried unto Plimmouth, where they were detained a yere & an halfe for their ransome.

Valdez comming unto Drake and humbly kissing his hand protested unto him, that he and his had resolved to die in battell, had they not by good fortune fallen into his power, whom they knew to be right curteous and gentle, and whom they had heard by generall report to bee most favourable unto his vanquished foe: insomuch that he sayd it was to bee doubted whether his enimies had more cause to admire and love him for his great, valiant, and prosperous exploites, or to dread him for his singular felicitie and wisedom, which ever attended upon him in the warres, and by the which hee had attained unto so great honour. With that Drake embraced him and gave him very honourable entertainement, feeding him at his owne table, and lodging him in his cabbin.

Here Valdez began to recount unto Drake the forces of all the Spanish Fleet, and how foure mightie Gallies were separated by tempest from them: and also how they were determined first to have put into Plimmouth haven, not expecting to bee repelled thence by the English ships which they thought could by no meanes withstand their impregnable forces, perswading themselves that by means of their huge Fleete, they were become lords and commaunders of the maine Ocean. For which cause they marveled much how the English men in their small ships durst approch within musket shot of the Spaniards mightie woodden castles, gathering the wind of them with many other such like attempts.

Immediately after, Valdez and his company, being a man of principal authoritie in the Spanish Fleete, and being descended of one and the same familie with that Valdez, which in the yeere 1574. besieged Leiden in Holland , were sent captives into England. There were in the sayd ship 55. thousand ducates in ready money of the Spanish kings gold, which the souldiers merily shared among themselves.

The same day was set on fire one of their greatest shippes, being Admirall of the squadron of Guipusco, and being the shippe of Michael de Oquendo Viceadmirall of the whole Fleete, which contained great store of gunnepowder and other warrelike provision. The upper part onely of this shippe was burnt, and all the persons therein contained (except a very few) were consumed with fire. And thereupon it was taken by the English, and brought into England with a number of miserable burnt and skorched Spaniards. Howbeit the gunpowder (to the great admiration of all men) remained whole and unconsumed.

In the meane season the lord Admirall of England in his ship called the Arke-royall, all that night pursued the Spaniards so neere, that in the morning hee was almost left alone in the enimies Fleete, and it was foure of the clocke at afternoone before the residue of the English Fleet could overtake him.

At the same time Hugo de Moncada governour of the foure Galliasses, made humble sute unto the Duke of Medina that he might be licenced to encounter the Admirall of England: which libertie the duke thought not good to permit unto him, because hee was loth to exceed the limites of his commision and charge.

Upon Tuesday which was the three and twentie of July, the navie being come over against Portland , the wind began to turne Northerly, insomuch that the Spaniards had a fortunate and fit gale to invade the English. But the Englishmen having lesser and nimbler Ships, recovered againe the vantage of the winde from the Spaniards, whereat the Spaniards seemed to bee more incensed to fight then before. But when the English Fleete had continually and without intermission from morning to night, beaten and battered them with all their shot both great and small: the Spaniardes uniting themselves, gathered their whole Fleete close together into a roundell, so that it was apparant that they ment not as yet to invade others, but onely to defend themselves and to make hast unto the place prescribed unto them, which was neere unto Dunkerk , that they might joine forces with the duke of Parma, who was determined to have proceeded secretly with his small shippes under the shadow and protection of the great ones, and so had intended circumspectly to performe the whole expedition.

This was the most furious and bloodie skirmish of all, in which the lord Admirall of England continued fighting amidst his enimies Fleete, and seeing one of his Captaines afarre off, hee spake unto him in these wordes : Oh George what doest thou? Wilt thou nowe frustrate my hope and opinion conceived of thee? Wilt thou forsake mee nowe? With which wordes hee being enflamed, approched foorthwith, encountered the enemie, and did the part of a most valiant Captaine. His name was George Fenner, a man that had bene conversant in many Sea-fights.

In this conflict there was a certaine great Venetian ship with other small ships surprised and taken by the English.

The English navie in the meane while increased, whereunto out of all Havens of the Realme resorted ships and men: for they all with one accord came flocking thither as unto a set field, where immortall fame and glory was to be attained, and faithfull service to bee performed unto their prince and countrey.

In which number there were many great and honourable personages, as namely, the Erles of Oxford, of Northumberland , of Cumberland , &c. with many Knights and Gentlemen : to wit, Sir Thomas Cecill, Sir Robert Cecill, Sir Walter Raleigh, Sir William Hatton, Sir Horatio Palavicini, Sir Henry Brooke, Sir Robert Carew, Sir Charles Blunt, Master Ambrose Willoughbie, Master Henry Nowell, Master Thomas Gerard, Master Henry Dudley, Master Edward Darcie, Master Arthur Gorge, Master Thomas Woodhouse, Master William Harvie, &c. And so it came to passe that the number of the English shippes amounted unto an hundreth: which when they were come before Dover, were increased to an hundred and thirtie, being notwithstanding of no proportionable bignesse to encounter with the Spaniards, except two or three and twentie of the Queenes greater shippes, which onely, by reason of their presence, bred an opinion in the Spaniardes mindes concerning the power of the English Fleet: the mariners and souldiers whereof were esteemed to be twelve thousand.

The foure and twentie of July when as the sea was calme, and no winde stirring, the fight was onely betweene the foure great Galleasses and the English shippes, which being rowed with Oares, had great vauntage of the sayde English shippes, which notwithstanding for all that would not bee forced to yeeld, but discharged their chaine-shot to cut asunder their Cables and Cordage of the Galleasses, with many other such Stratagemes. They were nowe constrained to send their men on land for a newe supplie of Gunne-powder, whereof they were in great skarcitie, by reason they had so frankely spent the greater part in the former conflicts.

The same day, a Counsell being assembled, it was decreed that the English Fleete should bee devided into foure squadrons: the principall whereof was committed unto the lord Admirall: the second, to Sir Francis Drake: the third, to Captaine Hawkins: the fourth, to Captaine Frobisher.

The Spaniards in their sailing observed very diligent and good order, sayling three and foure, and sometimes more ships in a ranke, and folowing close up one after another, and the stronger and greater ships protecting the lesser.

The five and twentie of July when the Spaniardes were come over-against the Isle of Wight, the lord Admirall of England being accompanied with his best ships, (namely the Lion, Captaine whereof was the lord Thomas Howard: The Elizabeth Jonas under the commandement of Sir Robert Southwel sonne in lawe unto the lord Admirall: the Beare under the lord Sheffield nephew unto the lord Admirall: the Victorie under Captaine Barker: and the Galeon Leicester under the forenamed Captaine George Fenner) with great valour and dreadfull thundering of shot, encountered the Spanish Admiral being in the very midst of all his Fleet. Which when the Spaniard perceived, being assisted with his strongest ships, he came forth and entered a terrible combate with the English: for they bestowed each on other the broad sides, and mutually discharged all their Ordinance, being within one hundred, or an hundred and twentie yards one of another.

At length the Spaniardes hoised up their sayles, and againe gathered themselves up close into the forme of a roundel. In the meane while Captaine Frobisher had engaged himselfe into a most dangerous conflict. Whereupon the lord Admirall comming to succour him, found that hee had valiantly and discreetly behaved himselfe, and that hee had wisely and in good time given over the fight, because that after so great a batterie he had sustained no damage.

For which cause the day following, being the sixe and twentie of July, the lord Admirall rewarded him with the order of knighthood, together with the lord Thomas Howard, the lord Sheffield, M. John Hawkins and others.

The same day the lord Admirall received intelligence from Newhaven in France, by certaine of his Pinnasses, that all things were quiet in France, and that there was no preparation of sending aide unto the Spaniards, which was greatly feared from the Guisian faction, and from the Leaguers: but there was a false rumour spread all about, that the Spaniards had conquered England.

The seven and twentie of July, the Spaniards about the sunne-setting were come over-against Dover, and rode at ancre within the sight of Caleis, intending to hold on for Dunkerk , expecting there to joyne with the duke of Parma his forces, without which they were able to doe litle or nothing.

Likewise the English Fleete following up hard upon them, ancred just by them within culvering-shot. And here the lord Henry Seymer united himselfe unto the lord Admiral with his fleete of 30. ships which road before the mouth of Thames .

As the Spanish navie therefore lay at ancre, the duke of Medina sent certaine messengers unto the duke of Parma, with whom upon that occasion many Noblemen and Gentlemen went to refresh themselves on land: and amongst the rest the prince of Ascoli, being accounted the kings base sonne, and a very proper and towardly yong gentleman, to his great good, went on shore, who was by so much the more fortunate, in that hee had not opportunitie to returne on boord the same ship, out of which he was departed, because that in returning home it was cast away upon the Irish coast, with all the persons contained therein.

The duke of Parma being advertised of the Spanish Fleetes arrivall upon the coast of England, made all the haste hee could to bee present himselfe in this expedition for the performance of his charge: vainely perswading himselfe that nowe by the meanes of Cardinall Allen, hee should be crowned king of England, and for that cause hee had resigned the governement of the Lowe countries unto Count Mansfeld the elder. And having made his vowes unto S. Mary of Hall in Henault (whom he went to visite for his blind devotions sake) hee returned toward Bruges the 28. of July.

The next day travelling to Dunkerk hee heard the thundering Ordinance of either Fleet: and the same evening being come to Dixmud, hee was given to understand the hard successe of the Spanish Fleete.

Upon Tuesday which was the thirtieth of July, about high noone, hee came to Dunkerk , when as al the Spanish Fleete was now passed by: neither durst any of his ships in the meane space come foorth to assist the sayd Spanish Fleete for feare of five and thirtie warrelike ships of Holland and Zeland, which there kept watch and warde under the conduct of the Admirall Justin of Nassau.

The foresayd five and thirtie shippes were furnished with most cunning mariners and olde expert souldiers, amongst the which were twelve hundred Musketiers, whom the States had chosen out of all their garisons, and whom they knew to have bene heretofore experienced in sea-fights.

This navie was given especially in charge not to suffer any shippe to come out of the Haven, nor to permit any Zabraes, Pataches or other small vessels of the Spanish Fleete (which were more likely to aide the Dunkerkers´╝ë to enter thereinto, for the greater ships were not to be feared by reason of the shallow sea in that place. Howbeit the prince of Parma his forces being as yet unreadie, were not come on boord his shippes, onely the English Fugitives being seven hundred in number under the conduct of Sir William Stanley, came in fit time to have bene embarked, because they hoped to give the first assault against England. The residue shewed themselves unwilling and loath to depart, because they sawe but a few mariners, who were by constraint drawne into this expedition, and also because they had very bare provision of bread, drinke, and other necessary victuals.

Moreover, the shippes of Holland and Zeland stood continually in their sight, threatening shot and powder, and many inconveniences unto them: for feare of which shippes, the Mariners and Sea-men secretly withdrew themselves both day and night, least that the duke of Parma his souldiers should compell them by maine force to goe on boord, and to breake through the Hollanders Fleete, which all of them judged to bee impossible by reason of the straightnesse of the Haven.

But it seemeth that the Duke of Parma and the Spaniards grounded upon a vaine and presumptuous expectation, that all the ships of England and of the Low countreys would at the first sight of the Spanish and Dunkerk Navie have betaken themselves to flight, yeelding them sea roome, and endevouring onely to defend themselves, their havens, and sea coasts from invasion. Wherefore their intent and purpose was, that the Duke of Parma in his small and flat-bottomed shippes, should as it were under the shadow and wings of the Spanish fleet, convey over all his troupes, armour, and warlike provision, and with their forces so united, should invade England; or while the English fleete were busied in fight against the Spanish, should enter upon any part of the coast, which he thought to be most convenient. Which invasion (as the captives afterward confessed) the Duke of Parma thought first to have attempted by the river of Thames; upon the bankes whereof having at his first arrivall landed twenty or thirty thousand of his principall souldiers, he supposed that he might easily have woonne the Citie of London; both because his small shippes should have followed and assisted his land-forces, and also for that the Citie it-selfe was but meanely fortified and easie to overcome, by reason of the Citizens delicacie and discontinuance from the warres, who with continuall and constant labour might be vanquished, if they yeelded not at the first assault. They were in good hope also to have mette with some rebels against her Majestie, and such as were discontented with the present state, as Papists, and others. Likewise they looked for ayde from the favourers of the Scottish Queene, who was not long before put to death; all which they thought would have stirred up seditions and factions.

Whenas therefore the Spanish fleet rode at anker before Caleis, to the end they might consult with the Duke of Parma what was best to be done according to the Kings commandement, and the present estate of their affaires, and had now (as we will afterward declare) purposed upon the second of August being Friday, with one power and consent to have put their intended businesse in practise; the L. Admirall of England being admonished by her Majesties letters from the Court, thought it most expedient either to drive the Spanish fleet from that place, or at leastwise to give them the encounter: and for that cause (according to her Majesties prescription) he tooke forthwith eight of his woorst & basest ships which came next to hand, & disburthening them of all things which seemed to be of any value, filled them with gun-powder, pitch, brimstone, and with other combustible and firy matter; and charging all their ordinance with powder, bullets, and stones, he sent the sayd ships upon the 28 of July being Sunday, about two of the clocke after midnight, with the winde and tide against the Spanish fleet: which when they had proceeded a good space, being forsaken of the Pilots, and set on fire, were directly carried upon the King of Spaines Navie: which fire in the dead of the night put the Spaniards into such a perplexity and horrour (for they feared lest they were like unto those terrible ships, which Frederic Jenebelli three yeeres before, at the siege of Antwerpe, had furnished with gun-powder, stones, and dreadfull engines, for the dissolution of the Duke of Parma his bridge, built upon the river of Scheld) that cutting their cables whereon their ankers were fastened, and hoising up their sailes, they betooke themselves very confusedly unto the maine sea.

In this sudden confusion, the principall and greatest of the foure galliasses falling fowle of another ship, lost her rudder: for which cause when she could not be guided any longer, she was by the force of the tide cast into a certaine showld upon the shore of Caleis, where she was immediatly assaulted by divers English pinasses, hoyes, and drumblers.

And as they lay battering of her with their ordinance, and durst not boord her, the L. Admirall sent thither his long boat with an hundreth choise souldiers under the command of Captaine Amias Preston. Upon whose approch their fellowes being more emboldened, did offer to boord the galliasse: against whom the governour thereof and Captaine of all the foure galliasses, Hugo de Moncada, stoutly opposed himselfe, fighting by so much the more valiantly, in that he hoped presently to be succoured by the Duke of Parma. In the meane season, Moncada , after he had endured the conflict a good while, being hitte on the head with a bullet, fell downe starke dead, and a great number of Spaniards also were slaine in his company. The greater part of the residue leaping over-boord into the sea, to save themselves by swimming, were most of them drowned. Howbeit there escaped among others Don Anthonio de Manriques, a principall officer in the Spanish fleet (called by them their Veador generall) together with a few Spaniards besides: which Anthonio was the first man that carried certaine newes of the successe of the fleet into Spaine. This huge and monstrous galliasse, wherein were contained three hundred slaves to lug at the oares, and foure hundred souldiers, was in the space of three houres rifled in the same place; and there were found amongst divers other commodities 50000 ducats of the Spanish kings treasure. At length when the slaves were released out of their fetters, the English men would have set the sayd ship on fire, which Monsieur Gourdon the governor of Caleis, for feare of the damage which might thereupon ensue to the Towne and Haven, would not permit them to do, but drave them from thence with his great ordinance.

Upon the 29 of July in the morning, the Spanish Fleet after the foresayd tumult, having arranged themselves againe into order, were, within sight of Greveling, most bravely and furiously encountered by the English; where they once againe got the winde of the Spaniards: who suffered themselves to be deprived of the commodity of the place in Caleis rode, and of the advantage of the winde neere unto Dunkerk , rather then they would change their array or separate their forces now conjoyned and united together, standing onely upon their defence.

And albeit there were many excellent and warlike ships in the English fleet, yet scarse were there 22 or 23 among them all which matched 90 of the Spanish ships in bignesse, or could conveniently assault them. Wherefore the English shippes using their prerogative of nimble stirrage, whereby they could turne and wield themselves with the winde which way they listed, came often times very neere upon the Spaniards, and charged them so sore, that now and then they were but a pikes length asunder: & so continually giving them one broad side after another, they discharged all their shot both great and small upon them, spending one whole day from morning till night in that violent kinde of conflict, untill such time as powder and bullets failed them. In regard of which want they thought it convenient not to pursue the Spaniards any longer, because they had many great vantages of the English, namely for the extraordinary bignesse of their ships, and also for that they were so neerely conjoyned, and kept together in so good array, that they could by no meanes be fought withall one to one. The English thought therefore, that they had right well acquited themselves, in chasing the Spaniards first from Caleis, and then from Dunkerk , and by that meanes to have hindered them from joyning with the Duke of Parma his forces, and getting the winde of them, to have driven them from their owne coasts.

The Spaniards that day sustained great losse and damage having many of their shippes shot thorow and thorow, and they discharged likewise great store of ordinance against the English; who indeed sustained some hinderance, but not comparable to the Spaniards losse: for they lost not any one shippe or person of account. For very diligent inquisition being made, the English men all that time wherein the Spanish Navy sayled upon their seas, are not found to have wanted above one hundreth of their people: albeit Sir Francis Drakes shippe was pierced with shot above forty times, and his very cabben was twise shot thorow, and about the conclusion of the fight, the bedde of a certaine gentleman lying weary thereupon, was taken quite from under him with the force of a bullet. Likewise, as the Earle of Northumberland and Sir Charles Blunt were at dinner upon a time, the bullet of a demi-culvering brake thorow the middest of their cabbin, touched their feet, and strooke downe two of the standers by, with many such accidents befalling the English shippes, which it were tedious to rehearse. Whereupon it is most apparant, that God miraculously preserved the English nation. For the L. Admirall wrote unto her Majestie that in all humane reason, and according to the judgement of all men (every circumstance being duly considered) the English men were not of any such force, whereby they might, without a miracle, dare once to approch within sight of the Spanish Fleet: insomuch that they freely ascribed all the honour of their victory unto God, who had confounded the enemy, and had brought his counsels to none effect.

The same day the Spanish ships were so battered with English shot, that that very night and the day following, two or three of them suncke right downe: and among the rest a certaine great ship of Biscay , which Captaine Crosse assaulted, which perished even in the time of the conflict, so that very few therin escaped drowning; who reported that the governours of the same shippe slew one another upon the occasion following: one of them which would have yeelded the shippe was suddenly slaine; the brother of the slaine party in revenge of his death slew the murtherer, and in the meane while the ship suncke.

The same night two Portugall galeons of the burthen of seven or eight hundreth tunnes a piece, to wit the Saint Philip and the Saint Matthew, were forsaken of the Spanish Fleet, for they were so tome with shotte, that the water entered into them on all sides. In the galeon of Saint Philip was Francis de Toledo, brother unto the Count de Orgas, being Colonell over two and thirty bands: besides other gentlemen; who seeing their mast broken with shotte, they shaped their course, as well as they could, for the coast of Flanders: whither when they could not attaine, the principall men in the ship committing themselves to their skiffe, arrived at the next towne, which was Ostend ; and the ship it selfe being left behinde with the residue of their company, was taken by the Ulishingers.

In the other galeon, called the S. Matthew, was embarked Don Diego Pimentelli another camp-master and colonell of 32 bands, being brother unto the marques of Tamnares, with many other gentlemen and captaines. Their ship was not very great, but exceeding strong, for of a great number of bullets which had batterd her, there were scarse 20 wherewith she was pierced or hurt: her upper worke was of force sufficient to beare off a musket shot: this shippe was shot thorow and pierced in the fight before Greveling; insomuch that the leakage of the water could not be stopped: whereupon the duke of Medina sent his great skiffe unto the governour thereof, that he might save himselfe and the principal persons that were in his ship: which he, upon a hault courage, refused to do: wherefore the Duke charged him to saile next unto himselfe: which the night following he could not performe, by reason of the great abundance of water which entered his ship on all sides; for the avoiding wherof, and to save his ship from sincking, he caused 50 men continually to labor at the pumpe, though it were to small purpose. And seeing himselfe thus forsaken & separated from his admirall, he endevored what he could to attaine unto the coast of Flanders : where, being espied by 4 or 5 men of warre, which had their station assigned them upon the same coast, he was admonished to yeeld himselfe unto them. Which he refusing to do, was strongly assaulted by them altogether, and his ship being pierced with many bullets, was brought into farre worse case then before, and 40 of his souldiers were slaine. By which extremity he was enforced at length to yeeld himselfe unto Peter Banderduess & other captaines, which brought him and his ship into Zeland; and that other ship also last before mentioned: which both of them, immediatly after the greater and better part of their goods were unladen, suncke right downe.

For the memory of this exploit, the foresayd captaine Banderduess caused the banner of one of these shippes to be set up in the great Church of Leiden in Holland , which is of so great a length, that being fastened to the very roofe, it reached downe to the ground.

About the same time another small ship being by necessity driven upon the coast of Flanders, about Blankenberg , was cast away upon the sands, the people therein being saved. Thus almighty God would have the Spaniards huge ships to be presented, not onely to the view of the English, but also of the Zelanders; that at the sight of them they might acknowledge of what small ability they had beene to resist such impregnable forces, had not God endued them with courage, providence, and fortitude, yea, and fought for them in many places with his owne arme.

The 29 of July the Spanish fleet being encountered by the English (as is aforesayd) and lying close together under their fighting sailes, with a Southwest winde sailed past Dunkerk , the English ships stil following the chase. Of whom the day following when the Spaniards had got sea roome, they cut their maine sailes; whereby they sufficiently declared that they meant no longer to fight but to flie. For which cause the L. Admirall of England dispatched the L. Henrie Seymer with his squadron of small ships unto the coast of Flanders, where, with the helpe of the Dutch ships, he might stop the prince of Parma his passage, if perhaps he should attempt to issue forth with his army. And he himselfe in the meane space pursued the Spanish fleet untill the second of August, because he thought they had set saile for Scotland . And albeit he followed them very neere, yet did he not assault them any more, for want of powder and bullets. But upon the fourth of August, the winde arising, when as the Spaniards had spread all their sailes, betaking themselves wholly to flight, and leaving Scotland on the left hand, trended toward Norway , (whereby they sufficiently declared that their whole intent was to save themselves by flight, attempting for that purpose, with their battered and crazed ships, the most dangerous navigation of the Northren seas) the English seeing that they were now proceeded unto the latitude of 57 degrees, and being unwilling to participate that danger whereinto the Spaniards plunged themselves, and because they wanted things necessary, and especially powder & shot, returned backe for England; leaving behinde them certaine pinasses onely, which they enjoyned to follow the Spaniards aloofe, and to observe their course. And so it came to passe that the fourth of August, with great danger and industry, the English arrived at Harwich : for they had bene tossed up and downe with a mighty tempest for the space of two or three dayes together, which it is likely did great hurt unto the Spanish fleet, being (as I sayd before) so maimed and battered. The English now going on shore, provided themselves foorthwith of victuals, gunne-powder, and other things expedient, that they might be ready at all assayes to entertaine the Spanish fleet, if it chanced any more to returne. But being afterward more certainely informed of the Spaniards course, they thought it best to leave them unto those boisterous and uncouth Northren seas, and not there to hunt after them.

The Spaniards seeing now that they wanted foure or five thousand of their people and having divers maimed and sicke persons, and likewise having lost 10 or 12 of their principall ships, they consulted among themselves, what they were best to doe, being now escaped out of the hands of the English, because their victuals failed them in like sort, and they began also to want cables, cordage, ankers, masts, sailes, and other naval furniture, and utterly despaired of the Duke of Parma his assistance (who verily hoping and undoubtedly expecting the returne of the Spanish Fleet, was continually occupied about his great preparation, commanding abundance of ankers to be made, & other necessary furniture for a Navy to be provided) they thought it good at length, so soone as the winde should serve them, to fetch a compasse about Scotland and Ireland , and so to returne for Spaine.

For they well understood, that commandement was given thorowout all Scotland , that they should not have any succour or assistance there. Neither yet could they in Norway supply their wants. Wherefore, having taken certaine Scotish and other fisherboats, they brought the men on boord their owne ships, to the end they might be their guides and Pilots. Fearing also least their fresh water should faile them, they cast all their horses and mules overboord: and so touching no where upon the coast of Scotland , but being carried with a fresh gale betweene the Orcades and Faar-Isles, they proceeded farre North, even unto 61 degrees of latitude, being distant from any land at the least 40 leagues. Heere the Duke of Medina generall of the Fleet commanded all his followers to shape their course for Biscay : and he himselfe with twenty or five and twenty of his ships which were best provided of fresh water and other necessaries, holding on his course over the maine Ocean, returned safely home. The residue of his ships being about forty in number, and committed unto his Vice-admirall, fell neerer with the coast of Ireland , intending their course for Cape Clare, because they hoped there to get fresh water, and to refresh themselves on land. But after they were driven with many contrary windes, at length, upon the second of September, they were cast by a tempest arising from the Southwest upon divers parts of Ireland , where many of their ships perished. And amongst others, the shippe of Michael de Oquendo, which was one of the great Galliasses: and two great ships of Venice also, namely, la Ratta and Belanzara, with other 36 or 38 ships more, which perished in sundry tempests, together with most of the persons contained in them.

Likewise some of the Spanish ships were the second time carried with a strong West winde into the chanell of England, whereof some were taken by the English upon their coast, and others by the men of Rochel upon the coast of France.

Moreover, there arrived at Newhaven in Normandy , being by tempest inforced so to doe, one of the foure great Galliasses, where they found the ships with the Spanish women which followed the Fleet at their setting forth. Two ships also were cast away upon the coast of Norway , one of them being of a great burthen; howbeit all the persons in the sayd great ship were saved: insomuch that of 134 ships, which set saile out of Portugall, there returned home 53 onely small and great: namely of the foure galliasses but one, and but one of the foure gallies. Of the 91 great galleons and hulks there were missing 58, and 33 returned: of the pataches and zabraes 17 were missing, and 18 returned home. In briefe, there were missing 81 ships, in which number were galliasses, gallies, galeons, and other vessels both great and small. And amongst the 53 ships remaining, those also are reckoned which returned home before they came into the English chanell. Two galeons of those which were returned, were by misfortune burnt as they rode in the haven; and such like mishaps did many others undergo. Of 30000 persons which went in this expedition, there perished (according to the number and proportion of the ships) the greater and better part; and many of them which came home, by reason of the toiles and inconveniences which they sustained in this voyage, died not long after their arrivall. The Duke of Medina immediatly upon his returne was deposed from his authority, commanded to his private house, and forbidden to repaire unto the Court; where he could hardly satisfie or yeeld a reason unto his malicious enemies and backbiters. Many honourable personages and men of great renowme deceased soone after their returne; as namely John Martines de Ricalde, with divers others. A great part also of the Spanish Nobility and Gentry employed in this expedition perished either by fight, diseases, or drowning, before their arrival; & among the rest Thomas Perenot of Granduell a Dutchman, being earle of Cantebroi, and sonne unto Cardinall Granduell his brother.

Upon the coast of Zeland Don Diego de Pimentell, brother unto the Marques de Tamnares, and kinseman unto the earle of Beneventum & Calva, and Colonell over 32 bands with many other in the same ship was taken and detained as prisoner in Zeland.

Into England (as we sayd before) Don Pedro de Valdez, a man of singular experience, and greatly honoured in his countrey, was led captive, being accompanied with Don Vasquez de Silva, Don Alonzo de Sayas, and others.

Likewise upon the Scotish Westerne Isles of Lewis, and Ila, and about Cape Cantyre upon the maine land, there were cast away certaine Spanish shippes, out of which were saved divers Captaines and Gentlemen, and almost foure hundred souldiers, who for the most part, after their shipwracke, were brought unto Edenborough in Scotland , and being miserably needy and naked, were there clothed at the liberality of the King and the Marchants, and afterward were secretly shipped for Spaine; but the Scotish fleet wherein they passed touching at Yarmouth on the coast of Norfolke, were there stayed for a time untill the Councels pleasure was knowen; who in regard of their manifolde miseries, though they were enemies, wincked at their passage.

Upon the Irish coast many of their Noblemen and Gentlemen were drowned; and divers slaine by the barbarous and wilde Irish. Howbeit there was brought prisoner out of Ireland , Don Alonzo de Lucon, Colonell of two and thirtie bandes, commonly called a terza of Naples ; together with Rodorigo de Lasso, and two others of the family of Cordova, who were committed unto the custodie of Sir Horatio Palavicini, that Monsieur de Teligny the sonne of Monsieur de la Noiie (who being taken in fight neere Antwerpe, was detained prisoner in the Castle of Turney) might be raunsomed for them by way of exchange. To conclude, there was no famous nor woorthy family in all Spaine, which in this expedition lost not a sonne, a brother, or a kinseman.

For the perpetuall memorie of this matter, the Zelanders caused newe coine of Silver and brasse to be stamped: which on the one side contained the armes of Zeland, with this inscription: GLORY TO GOD ONELY: and on the other side, the pictures of certeine great ships, with these words: THE SPANISH FLEET: and in the circumference about the ships: IT CAME, WENT, AND WAS. Anno 1588. That is to say, the Spanish fleet came, went, and was vanquished this yere; for which, glory be given to God onely.

Likewise they coined another kinde of money; upon the one side whereof was represented a ship fleeing, and a ship sincking: on the other side foure men making prayers and giving thanks unto God upon their knees; with this sentence: Man purposeth; God disposeth. 1588. Also, for the lasting memory of the same matter, they have stamped in Holland divers such like coines, according to the custome of the ancient Romans.

While this woonderfull and puissant Navie was sayling along the English coastes, and all men did now plainely see and heare that which before they would not be perswaded of, all people thorowout England prostrated themselves with humble prayers and supplications unto God: but especially the outlandish Churches (who had greatest cause to feare, and against whom by name, the Spaniards had threatened most grievous torments) enjoyned to their people continuall fastings and supplications, that they might turne away Gods wrath and fury now imminent upon them for their sinnes: knowing right well, that prayer was the onely refuge against all enemies, calamities, and necessities, and that it was the onely solace and reliefe for mankinde, being visited with affliction and misery. Likewise such solemne dayes of supplication were observed thorowout the united Provinces.

Also a while after the Spanish Fleet was departed, there was in England, by the commandement of her Majestie, and in the united Provinces, by the direction of the States, a solemne festivall day publikely appointed, wherein all persons were enjoyned to resort unto the Church, and there to render thanks and praises unto God: and the Preachers were commanded to exhort the people thereunto. The foresayd solemnity was observed upon the 29 of November; which day was wholly spent in fasting, prayer, and giving of thanks.

Likewise, the Queenes Majestie herselfe, imitating the ancient Romans, rode into London in triumph, in regard of her owne and her subjects glorious deliverance. For being attended upon very solemnely by all the principall estates and officers of her Realme, she was carried thorow her sayd City of London in a tryumphant chariot, and in robes of triumph, from her Palace unto the Cathedrall Church of Saint Paul, out of the which the ensignes and colours of the vanquished Spaniards hung displayed. And all the Citizens of London in their Liveries stood on either side the street, by their severall Companies, with their ensignes and banners: and the streets were hanged on both sides with Blew cloth, which, together with the foresayd banners, yeelded a very stately and gallant prospect. Her Majestie being entered into the Church, together with her Clergie and Nobles gave thanks unto God, and caused a publike Sermon to be preached before her at Pauls crosse; wherein none other argument was handled, but that praise, honour, and glory might be rendered unto God, and that Gods name might be extolled by thanksgiving. And with her owne princely voice she most Christianly exhorted the people to doe the same: whereupon the people with a loud acclamation wished her a most long and happy life, to the confusion of her foes.

Thus the magnificent, huge, and mighty fleet of the Spaniards (which themselves termed in all places invincible) such as sayled not upon the Ocean sea many hundreth yeeres before, in the yeere 1588 vanished into smoake; to the great confusion and discouragement of the authours thereof. In regard of which her Majesties happy successe all her neighbours and friends congratulated with her, and many verses were penned to the honour of her Majesty by learned men, whereof some which came to our hands we will here annexe.


THE Spanish Fleet did flote in narrow Seas,
And bend her ships against the English shore,
With so great rage as nothing could appease,
And with such strength as never seene before:
And all to joyne the kingdome of that land
Unto the kingdomes that he had in hand.

Now if you aske what set this king on fire,
To practise warre when he of peace did treat,
It was his Pride, and never quencht desire,
To spoile that Islands wealth, by peace made great:
His Pride which farre above the heavens did swell,
And his desire as unsuffic'd as hell.

But well have windes his proud blasts overblowen,
And swelling waves alayd his swelling heart,
Well hath the Sea with greedie gulfs unknowen,
Devoured the devourer to his smart:
And made his ships a pray unto the sand,
That meant to pray upon anothers land.

And now, 0 Queene, above all others blest,
For whom both windes and waves are prest to fight,
So rule your owne, so succour friends opprest,
(As farre from pride, as ready to do right)
That England you, you England long enjoy,
No lesse your friends delight, then foes annoy.

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