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A voyage to the Azores with two pinases, the one called the Serpent, and the other the Mary Sparke of Plimouth, both of them belonging to Sir Walter Ralegh, written by John Evesham Gentleman, wherein were taken the governour, of the Isle of Sainct Michael, and Pedro Sarmiento governour of the Straits of Magalanes, in the yeere 1586.

THE 10. of June 1586. we departed from Plimouth with two Pinases, the one named the Serpent, of the burden of 35. Tunnes, and the other the Mary Sparke of Plimouth of the burthen of 50. Tuns, both of them belonging to sir Walter Ralegh knight; and directing our course towards the coast of Spaine, & from thence towards the Isles of the Azores, we tooke a small barke laden with Sumacke and other commodities, wherein was the governour of S. Michaels Island, being a Portugal , having other Portugals and Spaniards with him. And from thence we sailed to the Island of Graciosa, to the Westward of the Island of Tercera, where we discried a saile, and bearing with her wee found her to be a Spaniard: But at the first not greatly respecting whom we tooke, so that we might have enriched our selves, which was the cause of this our travaile, and for that we would not bee knowen of what nation we were, wee displayed a white silke ensigne in our maine toppe, which they seeing, made accompt that we had bene some of the king of Spaines Armadas, lying in wait for English men of war: but when we came within shot of her, we tooke downe our white flagge, and spread abroad the Crosse of S. George, which when they saw, it made them to flie as fast as they might, but all their haste was in vaine, for our shippes were swifter of saile then they, which they fearing, did presently cast their ordinance and small shot with many letters, and the draft of the Straights of Magelan into the Sea, and thereupon immediatly we tooke her, wherein wee also tooke a gentleman of Spaine, named Pedro Sarmiento, governour of the Straights of Magelan, which saide Pedro we brought into England with us, and presented him to our soveraigne Lady the Queene.

After this, lying off and about the Islands, wee descried another saile, and bearing after her, we spent the maine maste of our Admirall, but yet in the night our Viceadmirall, tooke her, being laden with fish from Cape Blanke, the which shippe wee let goe againe for want of men to bring her home. The next day we discried two other sailes, the one a shippe and the other a Caravel, to whom we gave chase, which they seeing, with all speede made in under the Isle of Graciosa, to a certaine Fort there for their succour, where they came to an anker, and having the winde of us we could not hurt them with our ships, but we having a small boate, which we called a light horseman, wherein my selfe was, being a Musqueter, and foure more with Calivers, and foure that rowed, came neere unto the shore against the winde, which when they saw us come towards them they caried a great part of their marchandise on land, whither also the men of both vessels went and landed, and as soone as we came within Musquet shot, they began to shoote at us with great ordinance and small shot, and we likewise at them, and in the ende we boorded one shippe wherein was no man left, so we cut her cables, hoysed her sailes, and sent her away with two of our men, and the other 7. of us passed more neere unto the shoare, and boorded the Caravel, which did ride within a stones cast from the shoare, and so neere the land that the people did cast stones at us, but yet in despight of them all we tooke her, and one onely Negro therein; and cutting her cables in the hawse we hoysed her sailes and being becalmed under the land, we were constrained to rowe her out with our boate, the Fort still shooting at us, and the people on land with Musquets and calivers, to the number of 150. or thereabout: and we answered them with the small force wee had; In the time of which our shooting, the shot of my Musquet being a crossebarre-shot happened to strike the gunner of the fort to death, even as he was giving levell to one of his great pieces, and thus we parted from them without any losse or hurt on our side. And now, having taken these five sailes of shippes, we did as before, turne away the shippe with the fish, without hurting them, and from one of the other shippes wee tooke her maine Maste to serve our Admirals turne, and sent her away putting into her all the Spaniards and Portugals, (saving that gentleman Pedro Sarmiento, with three other of the principal men and two Negroes) leaving them all within sight of land, with bread and water sufficient for 10. dayes if neede were.

Thus setting our course for England, being off the Islands in the height of 41. degrees, or there about, one of our men being in the toppe discried a saile, then 10. saile, then 15. whereupon it was concluded to sende home those prizes we had, and so left in both our Pinasses not above 60. men. Thus wee returned againe to the Fleete wee had discried, where wee found 24. saile of shippes, whereof two of them were Caracks, the one of 1200. and the other of a 1000. tunnes, and 10. Galions, the rest were small shippes and Caravels all laden with Treasure, spices, and sugars, with which 24. shippes we with two small Pinasses did fight, and kept company the space of 32. houres, continually fighting with them and they with us, but the two Caracks kept still betwixt the Fleete and us, that wee could not take any one of them, so wanting powder, wee were forced to give them over against our willes, for that wee were all wholly bent to the gaining of some of them, but necessitie compelling us, and that onely for want of powder, without losse of any of our men, (which was a thing to be wondered at considering the inequalitie of number) at length we gave them over. Thus we againe set our course for England, and so come to Plimouth within 6. houres after our prizes, which we sent away 40. houres before us, where wee were received with triumphant joy, not onely with great Ordinance then shot off, but with the willing hearts of all the people of the Towne, and of the Countrey thereabout; and we not sparing our Ordinance (with the powder wee had left) to requite and answere them againe. And from thence wee brought our prizes to Southampton , where sir Walter Ralegh being our owner, rewarded us with our shares.

Our prizes were laden with sugars, Elephants teeth, waxe, hides, rice, brasill, and Cuser, as by the testimonie of John Evesham himselfe, Captaine Whiddon, Thomas Rainford, Benjamin Wood, William Cooper Master, William Cornish Master, Thomas Drake Corporall, John Ladd gunner, William Warefield gunner, Richard Moone, John Drew, Richard Cooper of Harwich, William Beares of Ratcliffe, John Row of Saltash, and many others, may appeare.

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