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ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 



GRADUATES' EDITION 

VOLUME 3 

THE CHRONICLES 

OF AMERICA SERIES 

ALLEN JOHNSON 

EDITOR 

GERHARD R. LOMER 

CHARLES W. JEFFERYS 

ASSISTANT EDITORS 



SIR FRANCIS DRAKE 

Painting, probably by Abraham JanSsen, 1594. At Bucklaiid 
Abbey, Devon, England. 



ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

A CHRONICLE OF DRAKE AND 

HIS COMPANIONS 

BY WILLIAM WOOD 



LVXET 




NEW HAVEN: YALE UNIVERSITY PHESS 

TORONTO: GLASGOW, BROOK & CO. 

LONDON: HUMPHREY MILFORD 

OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS 



1920 



113 

V -7} 



862615 

Copyright, 1918, by Yale University Press 



PREFATORY NOTE 

Citizen, colonist, pioneer! These three words 
carry the history of the United States back to its 
earliest form in 'the Newe Worlde called America.' 
But who prepared the way for the pioneers from 
the Old World and what ensured their safety in 
the New? The title of the present volume, Eliza- 
bethan Sea-Dogs, gives the only answer. It was 
during the reign of Elizabeth, the last of the Tudor 
sovereigns of England, that Englishmen won the 
command of the sea under the consummate leader- 
ship of Sir Francis Drake, the first of modern 
admirals. Drake and his companions are known 
to fame as Sea-Dogs. They won the English right 
of way into Spain's New World. And Anglo- 
American history begins with that century of 
maritime adventure and naval war in which 
English sailors blazed and secured the long sea- 
trail for the men of every other kind who found or 
sought their fortunes in America, 



CONTENTS 

I. ENGLAND'S FIRST LOOK Page 1 

II. HENBY VIII, KING OF THE ENGLISH SEA " 18 

in. LIFE AFLOAT IN TUDOR TIMES " 33 

IV. ELIZABETHAN ENGLAND " 48 

V. HAWKINS AND THE FIGHTING TRADERS " 71 

VI. DRAKE'S BEGINNING " 95 

VIL DRAKES ' ENCOMPASSMENT OF ALL THE 

WORLDE' " 115 

VIII. DRAKE CLIPS THE WINGS OF SPAIN " 149 

IX. DRAKE AND THE SPANISH ARMADA " 172 

X. ' THE ONE AND THE FIFTY-THREE ' "192 

XI. RALEIGH AND THE VISION OF THE WEST " 205 

XIL DRAKE'S END " 223 

NOTE ON TUDOR SHIPPING " 231 

BIBLIOGRAPHICAL NOTE " 241 

INDEX " 247 



IX 



ILLUSTRATIONS 

SIR FRANCIS DRAKE 

Painting, probably by Abraham Janssen, 1594. 

At Buckland Abbey, Devon, England. Frontispiece 

MAP SHOWING THE FIELD OF ACTIVITY 
OF THE SEA-ROVERS 

Prepared by W. L. G. Joerg, of the American 

Geographical Society. Facing page 12 



ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 



CHAPTER I 

England's first look 

In the early spring of 1476 the Italian Giovanni 
Caboto, who, like Christopher Columbus, was a 
seafaring citizen of Genoa, transferred his allegi- 
ance to Venice. 

The Roman Empire had fallen a thousand years 
before. Rome now held temporal sway only 
over the States of the Church, which were weak 
in armed force, even when compared with the 
small republics, dukedoms, and principalities 
which lay north and south. But Papal Rome, 
as the head and heart of a spiritual empire, was 
still a world-power; and the disunited Italian 
states were first in the commercial enterprise of 
the age as well as in the glories of the Renaissance. 
North of the Papal domain, which cut the penin- 

1 



2 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

sula in two parts, stood three renowned Italian 
cities: Florence, the capital of Tuscany, leading 
the world in arts; Genoa, the home of Caboto 
and Columbus, teaching the world the science of 
navigation; and Venice, mistress of the great 
trade route between Europe and Asia, controlling 
the world's commerce. 

Thus, in becoming a citizen of Venice, Giovanni 
Caboto the Genoese was leaving the best home 
of scientific navigation for the best home of sea- 
borne trade. His very name was no bad creden- 
tial. Surnames often come from nicknames; 
and for a Genoese to be called 11 Caboto was as 
much as for an Arab of the Desert to be known 
to his people as The Horseman. Cahottdggio 
now means no more than coasting trade. But 
before there was any real ocean commerce it 
referred to the regular sea-borne trade of the 
time; and Giovanni Caboto must have either 
upheld an exceptional family tradition or struck 
out an exceptional line for himself to have been 
known as John the Skipper among the many other 
expert skippers hailing from the port of Genoa. 

There was nothing strange in his being natur- 
alized in Venice. Patriotism of the kind that 
keeps the citizen under the flag of his own country 



ENGLAND'S FIRST LOOK 3 

was hardly known outside of England, France, 
and Spain. Though the Italian states used to 
fight each other, an individual Italian, especially 
when he was a sailor, always felt at liberty to 
seek his fortune in any one of them, or wherever he 
found his chance most tempting. So the Genoese 
Giovanni became the Venetian Zuan without any 
patriotic wrench. Nor was even the vastly 
greater change to plain John Cabot so very start- 
ling. Italian experts entered the service of a 
foreign monarch as easily as did the 'pay-fighting 
Swiss' or Hessian mercenaries. Columbus en- 
tered the Spanish service under Ferdinand and 
Isabella just as Cabot entered the English service 
under Henry VII. Giovanni — Zuan — John: it 
was all in a good day's work. 

Cabot settled in Bristol, where the still existing 
guild of Merchant- Venturers was even then two 
centuries old. Columbus, writing of his visit 
to Iceland, says, 'the English, especially those of 
Bristol, go there with their merchandise.' Iceland 
was then what Newfoundland became, the best 
of distant fishing grounds. It marked one end of 
the line of English sea-borne commerce. The 
Levant marked the other. The Baltic formed 
an important branch. Thus English trade al- 



4 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

ready stretched out over all the main lines. Long 
before Cabot's arrival a merchant prince of 
Bristol, named Canyng, who employed a hundred 
artificers and eight himdred seamen, was trading 
to Iceland, to the Baltic, and, most of all, to the 
Mediterranean. The trade with Italian ports 
stood in high favor among English merchants 
and was encouraged by the King; for in 1485, 
the first year of the Tudor dynasty, an English 
consul took oflBce at Pisa and England made a 
treaty of reciprocity with Tuscany. 

Henry VII, first of the energetic Tudors and 
grandfather of Queen Elizabeth, was a thrifty 
and practical man. Some years before the event 
about to be recorded in these pages Columbus 
had sent him a trusted brother with maps, globes, 
and quotations from Plato to prove the existence 
of lands to the west. Henry had troubles of his 
own in England. So he turned a deaf ear and 
lost a New World. But after Columbus had 
found America, and the Pope had divided all 
heathen countries between the crowns of Spain and 
Portugal, Henry decided to see what he could do. 

Anglo-American history begins on the 5th of 
March, 1496, when the Cabots, father and three 



ENGLAND'S FIRST LOOK 5 

sons, received the following patent from the 
King: 

Henrie, by the grace of God, King of England 
and France, and Lord of Irelande, to all, to whom 
these presentes shall come. Greeting — Be it knowen, 
that We have given and granted, and by these presentes 
do give and grant for Us and Our Heyres, to our 
well beloved John Gabote, citizen of Venice, to Lewes, 
Sebastian, and Santius, sonnes of the sayde John, 
and to the heires of them and every of them, and 
their deputies, full and free authoritie, leave, and 
Power, to sayle to all Partes, Countreys, and Seas, 
of the East, of the West, and of the North, under 
our banners and ensignes, with five shippes, of 
what burden or quantitie soever they bee: and as 
many mariners or men as they will have with them 
in the saide shippes, upon their owne proper costes 
and charges, to seeke out, discover, and finde, what- 
soever lies, Countreyes, Regions, or Provinces, of 
the Heathenries and Infidelles, whatsoever they bee, 
and in what part of the worlde soever they bee, whiche 
before this time have been unknowen to all Christians. 
We have granted to them also, and to every of them, 
the heires of them, and every of them, and their 
deputies, and have given them licence to set up Our 
banners and ensignes in every village, towne, castel. 



6 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

yle, or maine lande, of them newly founde. And 
that the aforesaide John and his sonnes, or their 
heires and assignes, may subdue, occupie, and 
possesse, all svx:h townes, cities, castels, and yles, of 
them founde, which they can subdue, occupie, and 
possesse, as our vassailes and lieutenantes, getting 
unto Us the rule, title, and jurisdiction of the same 
villages, townes, castels, andfirme lande so founde. 

The patent then goes on to provide for a royalty 
to His Majesty of one-fifth of the net profits, to 
exempt the patentees from custom duty, to ex- 
clude competition, and to exhort good subjects of 
the Crown to help the Cabots in every possible 
way. This first of all English documents con- 
nected with America ends with these words: 
Witnesse our Selfe at Westminster, the Fifth day of 
March, in the XI yeere of our reigne. HENRY R. 

To sayle to all Partes of the East, of the West, 
and of the North. The pointed omission of the 
word South made it clear that Henry had no in- 
tention of infringing Spanish rights of discovery. 
Spanish claims, however, were based on the Pope's 
division of all the heathen world and were by no 
means bounded by any rights of discovery already 
acquired. 



ENGLAND'S FIRST LOOK 7 

Cabot left Bristol in the spring of 1497, a year 
after the date of his patent, not with the 'five 
shippes' the King had authorized, but in the 
httle Matthew, with a crew of only eighteen men, 
nearly all Englishmen accustomed to the North 
Atlantic. The Matthew made Cape Breton, the 
easternmost point of Nova Scotia, on the 24th of 
June, the anniversary of St. John the Baptist, 
now the racial fete-day of the French Canadians. 
Not a single human inhabitant was to be seen in 
this wild new land, shaggy with forests primeval, 
fronted with bold, scarped shores, and beautiful 
with romantic deep bays leading inland, league 
upon league, past rugged forelands and rocky 
battlements keeping guard at the frontiers of 
the continent. Over these mysterious wilds 
Cabot raised St. George's Cross for England and 
the banner of St. Mark in souvenir of Venice. 
Had he now reached the fabled islands of the West 
or discovered other islands off the eastern coast 
of Tartary.? He did not know. But he hurried 
back to Bristol with the news and was welcomed 
by the King and people. A Venetian in London 
wrote home to say that 'this fellow-citizen of 
ours, who went from Bristol in quest of new islands, 
is Zuan Caboto, whom the English now call a 



8 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

great admiral. He dresses in silk; they pay 
him great honour; and everyone runs after him 
like mad.' The Spanish ambassador was full 
of suspicion, in spite of the fact that Cabot had 
not gone south. Had not His Holiness divided 
all Heathendom between the crowns of Spain and 
Portugal, to Spain the West and to Portugal the 
East; and was not this landfall within what the 
modern world would call the Spanish sphere of 
influence.? The ambassador protested to Henry 
VH and reported home to Ferdinand and Isabella. 

Henry VII meanwhile sent a little present ' To 
Hym that founde the new Isle — £10.' It was 
not very much. But it was about as much as 
nearly a thousand dollars now; and it meant 
full recognition and approval. This was a good 
start for a man who couldn't pay the King any 
royalty of twenty per cent, because he hadn't 
made a penny on the way. Besides, it was fol- 
lowed up by a royal annuity of twice the amount 
and by renewed letters-patent for further voyages 
and discoveries in the west. So Cabot took good 
fortune at the flood and went again. 

This time there was the full authorized flotilla 
of five sail, of which one turned back and four 
sailed on. Somewhere on the way John Cabot 



ENGLAND'S FIRST LOOK 9 

disappeared from history and his second s6n, 
Sebastian, reigned in his stead. Sebastian, like 
John, apparently wrote nothing whatever. But 
he talked a great deal; and in after years he seems 
to have remembered a good many things that 
never happened at all. Nevertheless he was a 
very able man in several capacities and could teach 
a courtier or a demagogue, as well as a geographer 
or exploiter of new claims, the art of climbing 
over other people's backs, his father's and his 
brothers' backs included. He had his troubles; 
for King Henry had pressed upon him recruits 
from the gaols, which just then were full of rebels. 
But he had enough seamen to manage the ships 
and plenty of cargo for trade with the undiscovered 
natives. 

Sebastian perhaps left some of his three hundred 
men to explore Newfoundland. He knew they 
couldn't starve because, as he often used to tell 
his gaping listeners, the waters thereabouts were 
so thick with codfish that he had hard work to 
force his vessels through. This first of American 
fish stories, wildly improbable as it may seem, 
may yet have been founded on fact. When acres 
upon acres of the countless little capelin swim 
inshore to feed, and they themselves are preyed 



10 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

on by leaping acres of voracious cod, whose own 
rear ranks are being preyed on by hungry seals, 
sharks, herring-hogs, or dogfish, then indeed the 
troubled surface of a narrowing bay is literally 
thick with the silvery flash of capelin, the dark 
tumultuous backs of cod, and the swirling rushes 
of the greater beasts of prey behind. Nor were 
certain other fish stories, told by Sebastian and 
his successors about the land of cod, without some 
strange truths to build on. Cod have been caught 
as long as a man and weighing over a hundred 
pounds. A whole hare, a big guillemot with his 
beak and claws, a brace of duck so fresh that 
they must have been swallowed alive, a rubber 
wading boot, and a very learned treatise com- 
plete in three volumes — these are a few of the 
curiosities actually found in sundry stomachs of 
the all-devouring cod. 

The new-found cod banks were a mine of wealth 
for western Europe at a time when everyone ate 
fish on fast days. They have remained so ever 
since because the enormous increase of popula- 
tion has kept up a constantly increasing demand 
for natural supplies of food. Basques and Eng- 
lish, Spaniards, French, and Portuguese, were 
presently fishing for cod all round the waters o^ 



ENGLAND'S FIRST LOOK 11 

northeastern Nortli America and were even then 
beginning to raise questions of national rights that 
have only been settled in this twentieth century 
after four hundred years. 

Following the coast of Greenland past Cape 
Farewell, Sebastian Cabot turned north to look for 
the nearest course to India and Cathay, the lands 
of silks and spices, diamonds, rubies, pearls, and 
gold. John Cabot had once been as far as Mecca 
or its neighborhood, where he had seen the cara- 
vans that came across the Desert of Arabia from 
the fabled East. Believing the proof that the 
world was round, he, like Columbus and so many 
more, thought America was either the eastern 
limits of the Old World or an archipelago between 
the extremest east and west already known. Thus, 
in the early days before it was valued for itself, 
America was commonly regarded as a mere ob- 
struction to navigation — the more solid the 
more exasperating. Now, in 1498, on his second 
voyage to America, John Cabot must have been 
particularly anxious to get through and show the 
King some better return for his money. But he 
simply disappears; and all we know is what 
various writers gleaned from his son Sebastian 
later on. 



12 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

Sebastian said he coasted Greenland, through 
vast quantities of midsummer ice, until he reached 
67° 30' north, where there was hardly any night. 
Then he turned back and probably steered a 
southerly course for Newfoundland, as he appears 
to have completely missed what would have 
seemed to him the tempting way to Asia oflFered by 
Hudson Strait and Bay. Passing Newfoundland, 
he stood on south as far as the Virginia capes, 
perhaps down as far as Florida. A few natives 
were caught. But no real trade was done. And 
when the explorers had reported progress to the 
King the general opinion was that North America 
was nothing to boast of, after all. 

A generation later the French sent out several 
expeditions to sail through North America and 
make discoveries by the way. Jacques Cartier's 
second, made in 1535, was the greatest and most 
successful. He went up the St. Lawrence as high 
as the site of Montreal, the head of ocean naviga- 
tion, where, a hundred and forty years later, the 
local wits called La Salle's seigneury 'La Chine' 
in derision of his unquenchable belief in a trans- 
continental connection with Cathay. 

But that was under the wholly new conditions 
of the seventeenth century, when both French 




■ FOR THE CHRONICLES OF AMERICA UNDER THE 

■ OF W.L.G.JOERG, AMERICAN GEOGRAPHICAL SOCIETY 



JULIUS BIEN IITH. I 



ENGLAND'S FIRST LOOK 13 

and English expected to make something out of 
what are now the United States and Canada. 
The point of the witling joke against La Salle 
was a new version of the old adage: Go farther 
and fare worse. The point of European opinion 
about America throughout the wonderful sixteenth 
century was that those who did go farther north 
than Mexico were certain to fare worse. And 
— whatever the cause — they generally did. So 
there was yet a third reason why the fame of 
Columbus eclipsed the fame of the Cabots even 
among those English-speaking peoples whose 
New- World home the Cabots were the first to 
find. To begin with, Columbus was the first of 
moderns to discover any spot in all America. 
Secondly, while the Cabots gave no writings to 
the world, Columbus did. He wrote for a mighty 
monarch and his fame was spread abroad by what 
we should now call a monster publicity campaign. 
Thirdly, our present point: the southern lands 
associated with Columbus and with Spain yielded 
immense and most romantic profits during the 
most romantic period of the sixteenth century. 
The northern lands connected with the Cabots 
did nothing of the kind. 

Priority, publicity, and romantic wealth all 



14 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

favored Columbus and the south then as the 
memory of them does to-day. The four hun- 
dredth anniversary of his discovery of an island 
in the Bahamas excited the interest of the whole 
world and was celebrated with great enthusiasm 
in the United States. The four hundredth anni- 
versary of the Cabots' discovery of North America 
excited no interest at all outside of Bristol and 
Cape Breton and a few learned societies. Even 
contemporary Spain did more for the Cabots 
than that. The Spanish ambassador in London 
carefully collected every scrap of information 
and sent it home to his king, who turned it over 
as material for Juan de la Cosa's famous map, 
the first dated map of America known. This map, 
made in 1500 on a bullock's hide, still occupies a 
place of honor in the Naval Museum at Madrid; 
and there it stands as a contemporary geographic 
record to show that St. George's Cross was the 
first flag ever raised over eastern North America, 
at all events north of Cape Hatteras. 

The Cabots did great things though they were 
not great men. John, as we have seen already, 
sailed out of the ken of man in 1498 during his 
second voyage. Sly Sebastian lived on and al- 
most saw Elizabeth ascend the throne in 1558. 



ENGLAND'S FIRST LOOK 15 

He had made many voyages and served many 
masters in the meantime. In 1512 he entered 
the service of King Ferdinand of Spain as a 
'Captain of the Sea' with a handsome salary 
attached. Six years later the Emperor Charles V 
made him 'Chief Pilot and Examiner of Pilots.' 
Another six years and he is sitting as a nautical 
assessor to find out the longitude of the Moluccas 
in order that the Pope may know whether they 
fall within the Portuguese or Spanish hemisphere 
of exploitation. Presently he goes on a four 
years' journey to South America, is hindered by 
a mutiny, explores the River Plate (La Plata), 
and returns in 1530, about the time of the voyage 
to Brazil of 'Master William Haukins,' of which 
we shall hear later on. 

In 1544 Sebastian made an excellent and cele- 
brated map of the world which gives a wonderfully 
good idea of the coasts of North America from 
Labrador to Florida. This map, long given up 
for lost, and only discovered three centuries after 
it had been finished, is now in the National 
Library in Paris. ' 



' An excellent facsimile reproduction of it, together with a copy 
of the marginal text, is in the collections of the American Geo- 
graphical Society of New York. 



16 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

Sebastian had passed his threescore years and 
ten before this famous map appeared. But he 
was as active as ever twelve years later again. 
He had left Spain for England in 1548, to the rage 
of Charles V, who claimed him as a deserter, which 
he probably was. But the English boy-king, 
Edward VI, gave him a pension, which was re- 
newed by Queen Mary; and his last ten years 
were spent in England, where he died in the odor 
of sanctity as Governor of the Muscovy Company 
and citizen of London. Whatever his faults, he 
was a hearty-good-fellow with his boon com- 
panions; and the following 'personal mention' 
about his octogenarian revels at Gravesend is 
well worth quoting exactly as the admiring diarist 
wrote it down on the 27th of April, 1556, when 
the pinnace Serchthrift was on the point of sailing 
to Muscovy and the Directors were giving it a 
great send-off. 

After Master Cabota and divers gentlemen .and 
gentlewomen had viewed our pinnace, and tasted of 
such cheer as we could make them aboard, they went 
on shore, giving to our mariners right liberal rewards; 
and the good old Gentleman, Master Cabota, gave to 
the poor most liberal alms, wishing them to pray for 
the good fortune and prosperous success of the Serch- 
thrift, our pinnace. And then, at the sign of the Chris- 



ENGLAND'S FIRST LOOK 17 

topher, he and his friends banqueted, and made me 
and them that were In the company great cheer; and 
for very joy that he had to see the towardness of our 
intended discovery he entered Into the dance himself, 
amongst the rest of the young and lusty company — 
which being ended, he and his friends departed, most 
gently commending us to the governance of Almighty 
God. 



CHAPTER n 

HENBT VIII, KING OF THE ENGLISH SEA 

The leading pioneers in the Age of Discovery 
were sons of Italy, Spain, and Portugal. ' Cabot, 
as we have seen, was an Italian, though he 
sailed for. the English Crown and had an Eng- 
lish crew. Columbus, too, was an Italian, though 
in the service of the Spanish Crown. It was the 
Portuguese Vasco da Gama who in the very 
year of John Cabot's second voyage (1498) found 
the great sea route to India by way of the Cape 
of Good Hope. Two years later the Cortereals, 
also Portuguese, began exploring the coasts of 
America as far northwest as Labrador. Twenty 
years later again the Portuguese Magellan, sailing 
for the King of Spain, discovered the strait still 
known by his name, passed through it into the 

' Basque fishermen and whalers apparently forestalled Jacques 
Cartier's discovery of the St. Lawrence in 1535; perhaps they knew 
the mainland of America before John Cabot in 1497. But they 
left no written records; and neither founded an oversea dominion 
nor gave rights of discovery to their own or any other race. 

18 



KING HENRY VIII 19 

Pacific, and reached the Philippines. There he 
was killed. But one of his ships went on to make 
the first circumnavigation of the globe, a feat which 
redounded to the glory of both Spain and Portugal. 
Meanwhile, in 1513, the Spaniard Balboa had 
crossed the Isthmus of Panama and waded into 
the Pacific, sword in hand, to claim it for his king. 
Then came the Spanish explorers — Ponce de 
Leon, De Soto, Coronado, and many more — 
and later on the conquerors and founders of New 
Spain — Cortes, Pizarro, and their successors. 

During all this time neither France nor England 
made any lodgment in America, though both sent 
out a number of expeditions, both fished on the 
cod banks of Newfoundland, and each had already 
marked out her own 'sphere of influence.' The 
Portuguese were in Brazil; the Spaniards, in 
South and Central America. England, by right 
of the Bristol voyages, claimed the eastern coasts 
of the United States and Canada; France, in 
virtue of Cartier's discovery, the region of the St. 
Lawrence. But, while New Spain and New Por- 
tugal flourished in the sixteenth century, New 
France and New England were yet to rise. 

In the sixteenth century both France and Eng- 
land were occupied with momentous things at 



20 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

home. France was torn with religious wars. 
Tudor England had much work to do before 
any effective English colonies could be planted. 
Oversea dominions are nothing without sufficient 
sea power, naval and mercantile, to win, to hold, 
and foster them. But Tudor England was grad- 
ually forming those naval and merchant services 
without which there could have been neither 
British Empire nor United States. 

Henry VIII had faults which have been trum- 
peted about the world from his own day to ours. 
But of all English sovereigns he stands foremost 
as the monarch of the sea. Young, handsome, 
learned, exceedingly accomplished, gloriously 
strong in body and in mind, Henry mounted the 
throne in 1509 with the hearty good will of nearly 
all his subjects. Before England could become 
the mother country of an empire overseas, she 
had to shake off her mediaeval weaknesses, be- 
come a strongly unified modern state, and arm 
herself against any probable combination of hos- 
tile foreign states. Happily for herself and for 
her future colonists, Henry was richly endowed 
with strength and skill for his task. With one 
hand he welded England into political unity, 



KING HENRY VIII 21 

crushing disruptive forces by the way. With 
the other he gradually built up a fleet the like of 
which the world had never seen. He had the 
advantage of being more independent of parlia- 
mentary supplies than any other sovereign. From 
his thrifty father he had inherited what was then 
an almost fabulous sum — nine million dollars 
in cash. From what his friends call the conver- 
sion, and his enemies the spoliation, of Church 
property in England he obtained many millions 
more. Moreover, the people as a whole always 
rallied to his call whenever he wanted other 
national resources for the national defence. 

Henry's unique distinction is that he effected 
the momentous change from an ancient to a 
modern fleet. This supreme achievement con- 
stitutes his real title to the lasting gratitude of 
English-speaking peoples. His first care when 
he came to the throne in 1509 was for the safety 
of the 'Broade Ditch,' as he called the English 
Channel. His last great act was to establish in 
1546 'The Office of the Admiralty and Marine 
Affairs.' During the thirty-seven years between 
his accession and the creation of this Navy 
Board the pregnant change was made. 

'King Henry loved a man.' He had an uner- 



22 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

ring eye for choosing the right leaders. He delight- 
ed in everything to do with ships and ship- 
ping. He mixed freely with naval men and mer- 
chant skippers, visited the dockyards, promoted 
several improved types of vessels, and always 
befriended Fletcher of Rye, the shipwright who 
discovered the art of tacking and thereby revolu- 
tionized navigation. Nor was the King only 
a patron. He invented a new type of vessel 
himself and thoroughly mastered scientific gun- 
nery. He was the first of national leaders to 
grasp the full significance of what could be done 
by broadsides fired from sailing ships against the 
mediaeval type of vessel that still depended more 
on oars than on sails. 

Henry's maritime rivals were the two greatest 
monarchs of continental Europe, Francis I of 
France and Charles V of Spain. Henry, Francis, 
and Charles were all young, all ambitious, and all 
exceedingly capable men. Henry had the fewest 
subjects, Charles by far the most. Francis had 
a compact kingdom well situated for a great 
European land power. Henry had one equally 
well situated for a great European sea power. 
Charles ruled vast dominions scattered over both 
the New World and the Old. The destinies of 



KING HENRY VIII 23 

mankind turned mostly on the rivalry between 
these three protagonists and their successors. 

Charles V was heir to several crowns. He ruled 
Spain, the Netherlands, the Kingdom of the Two 
Sicilies, and important principalities in northern 
Italy. He was elected Emperor of Germany. 
He owned enormous oversea dominions in Africa; 
and the two Americas soon became New Spain. 
He governed each part of his European dominions 
by a different title and under a different constitu- 
tion. He had no fixed imperial capital, but moved 
about from place to place, a legitimate sovereign 
everywhere and, for the most part, a popular one 
as well. It was his son Philip II who, failing of 
election as Emperor, lived only in Spain, con- 
centrated the machinery of government in Madrid, 
and became so unpopular elsewhere. Charles 
had been brought up in Flanders; he was genial 
in the Flemish way; and he understood his various 
states in the Netherlands, which furnished him 
with one of his main sources of revenue. An- 
other and much larger som^ce of revenue poured 
in its wealth to him later on, in rapidly increasing 
volume, from North and South America. 

Charles had inherited a long and bitter feud 
with France about the Burgundian dominions on 



24 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

the French side of the Rhine and about domains 
in Italy; besides which there were many points of 
violent rivalry between things French and Span- 
ish. England also had hereditary feuds with 
France, which had come down from the Hundred 
Years' War, and which had ended in her almost 
final expulsion from France less than a century 
before. Scotland, nursing old feuds against Eng- 
land and always afraid of absorption, naturally 
sided with France. Portugal, small and open to 
Spanish invasion by land, was more or less bound 
to please Spain. 

During the many campaigns between Francis 
and Charles the English Channel swarmed with 
men-of-war, privateers, and downright pirates. 
Sometimes England took a hand officially against 
France. But, even when England was not offi- 
cially at war, many Englishmen were privateers 
and not a few were pirates. Never was there a 
better training school of fighting seamanship than 
in and around the Narrow Seas. It was a con- 
tinual struggle for an existence in which only the 
fittest survived. Quickness was essential. Con- 
sequently vessels that could not increase their 
speed were soon cleared off the sea. 

Spain suffered a good deal by this continuous 



KING HENRY VIII 25 

raiding. So did the Netherlands. But such was 
the power of Charles that, although his navies 
were much weaker than his armies, he yet was 
able to fight by sea on two enormous fronts, first, 
in the Mediterranean against the Turks and other 
Moslems, secondly, in the Channel and along the 
coast, all the way from Antwerp to Cadiz. Nor 
did the left arm of his power stop there; for his 
fleets, his transports, and his merchantmen ranged 
the coasts of both Americas from one side of the 
present United States right round to the other. 

Such, in brief, was the position of maritime 
Europe when Henry found himself menaced by 
the three Roman Catholic powers of Scotland, 
France, and Spain. In 1533 he had divorced his 
first wife, Catherine of Aragon, thereby defying 
the Pope and giving offence to Spain. He had 
again defied the Pope by suppressing the monas- 
teries and severing the Church of England from 
the Roman discipline. The Pope had struck 
back with a bull of excommunication designed to 
make Henry the common enemy of Catholic 
Europe. 

Henry had been steadily building ships for 
years. Now he redoubled his activity. He 
blooded the fathers of his daughter's sea-dogs by 



26 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

smashing up a pirate fleet and sinking a flotilla 
of Flemish privateers. The mouth of the Scheldt, 
in 1539, was full of vessels ready to take a hostile 
army into England. But such a fighting fleet 
prepared to meet them that Henry's enemies 
forbore to strike. 

In 1539, too, came the discovery of the art of 
tacking, by Fletcher of Rye, Henry's shipwright 
friend, a discovery forever memorable in the an- 
nals of seamanship. Never before had any kind 
of craft been sailed a single foot against the wind. 
The primitive dugout on which the prehistoric 
savage hoisted the first semblance of a sail, the 
ships of Tarshish, the Roman transport in which 
St. Paul was wrecked, and the Spanish caravels 
with which Columbus sailed to worlds unknown, 
were, in principle of navigation, all the same. But 
now Fletcher ran out his epoch-making vessel, 
with sails trimmed fore and aft, and dumbfounded 
all the shipping in the Channel by beating his 
way to windward against a good stiff breeze. 
This achievement marked the dawn of the modern 
sailing age. 

And so it happened that in 1545 Henry, with a 
new-born modern fleet, was able to turn defi- 
antly on Francis. The English people rallied 



KING HENRY VIII 27 

magnificently to his call. What was at that time 
an enormous army covered the lines of advance 
on London. But the fleet, though employing 
fewer men, was relatively a much more important 
force than the army; and with the fleet went 
Henry's own headquarters. His lifelong interest 
in his navy now bore the first-fruits of really 
scientific sea power on an oceanic scale. There 
was no great naval battle to fix general attention 
on one dramatic moment. Henry's strategy and 
tactics, however, were new and full of promise. 
He repeated his strategy of the previous war by 
sending out a strong squadron to attack the base 
at which the enemy's ships were then assembling; 
and he definitely committed the English navy, 
alone among all the navies in the world, to sailing- 
ship tactics, instead of continuing those founded 
on the rowing galley of immemorial fame. The 
change from a sort of floating army to a really 
naval fleet, from galleys moved by oars and de- 
pending on boarders who were soldiers, to ships 
moved by sails and depending on their broadside 
guns — this change was quite as important as 
the change in the nineteenth century from sails 
and smooth-bores to steam and rifled ordnance. 
It was, indeed, from at least one commanding 



28 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

point of view, much more important; for it meant 
that England was easily first in developing the 
only kind of navy which would count in any 
struggle for oversea dominion after the discovery 
of America had made sea power no longer a ques- 
tion of coasts and landlocked waters but of all 
the outer oceans of the world. 

The year that saw the birth of modern sea power 
is a date to be remembered in this history; for 
1545 was also the year in which the mines of 
Potosi first aroused the Old World to the riches 
of the New; it was the year, too, in which Sir 
Francis Drake was born. Moreover, there was 
another significant birth in this same year. The 
parole aboard the Portsmouth fleet was God save 
the King ! The answering countersign was Long 
to reign over us! These words formed the nucleus 
of the national anthem now sung round all the 
Seven Seas. The anthems of other countries were 
born on land. God save the King I sprang from the 
navy and the sea. 

The Reformation quickened seafaring life in 
many ways. After Henry's excommunication 
every Roman CathoHc crew had full Papal sanc- 
tion for attacking every English crew that would 



KING HENRY VIII 29 

not submit to Rome, no matter how Catholic its 
faith might be. Thus, in addition to danger from 
pirates, privateers, and men-of-war, an English 
merchantman had to risk attack by any one who 
was either passionately Roman or determined to 
use religion as a cloak. Raids and reprisals grew 
apace. The English were by no means always 
lambs in piteous contrast to the Papal wolves. 
Rather, it might be said, they took a motto from 
this true Russian proverb: 'Make yourself a 
sheep and you'll find no lack of wolves.' But, 
rightly or wrongly, the general English view was 
that the Papal attitude was one of attack while 
their own was one of defence. Papal Europe of 
course thought quite the reverse. 

Henry died in 1547, and the Lord Protector 
Somerset at once tried to make England as Pro- 
testant as possible during the minority of Edward 
VI, who was not yet ten years old. This brought 
every English seaman under suspicion in every 
Spanish port, where the Holy Office of the Inqui- 
sition was a great deal more vigilant and business- 
like than the Custom House or Harbor Master. 
Inquisitors had seized Englishmen in Henry's 
time. But Charles had stayed their hand. Now 
that the ruler of England was an open heretic, who 



30 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

appeared to reject the accepted forms of Catholic 
belief as well as the Papal forms of Roman disci- 
pline, the hour had come to strike. War would 
have followed in ordinary times. But the Refor- 
mation had produced a cross-division among the 
subjects of all the Great Powers. If Charles 
went to war with a Protestant Lord Protector of 
England then some of his own subjects in the 
Netherlands would probably revolt. France had 
her Huguenots; England her ultra-Papists; Scot- 
land some of both kinds. Every country had an 
unknown number of enemies at home and friends 
abroad. All feared war. 

Somerset neglected the navy. But the sea- 
faring men among the Protestants, as among 
those Catholics who were anti-Roman, took to 
privateering more than ever. Nor was explora- 
tion forgotten. A group of merchant-adventurers 
sent Sir Hugh Willoughby to find the Northeast 
Passage to Cathay. Willoughby's three ships 
were towed down the Thames by oarsmen dressed 
in sky-blue jackets. As they passed the palace 
at Greenwich they dipped their colors in salute. 
But the poor young king was too weak to come to 
the window. Willoughby met his death in Lap- 
land. But Chancellor, his second-in-command, 



KING HENRY VIII 31 

got through to the White Sea, pushed on overland 
to Moscow, and returned safe in 1554, when 
Queen Mary was on the throne. Next year, 
strange to say, the charter of the new Muscovy 
Company was granted by Philip of Armada fame, 
now joint sovereign of England with his newly 
married wife, soon to be known as 'Bloody Mary,' 
One of the directors of the company was Lord 
Howard of Effingham, father of Drake's Lord 
Admiral, while the governor was our old friend 
Sebastian Cabot, now in his eightieth year. Philip 
was Crown Prince of the Spanish Empire, and his 
father, Charles V, was very anxious that he should 
please the stubborn English; for if he could only 
become both King of England and Emperor of 
Germany he would rule the world by sea as well 
as land. Philip did his ineffective best: drank 
English beer in public as if he liked it and made 
his stately Spanish courtiers drink it too and smile. 
He spent Spanish gold, brought over from America, 
and he got the convenient kind of Englishmen to 
take it as spy-money for many years to come. 
But with it he likewise sowed some dragon's 
teeth. The English sea-dogs never forgot the 
iron chests of Spanish New- World gold, and 
presently began to wonder whether there was no 



32 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

sure way in far America by which to get it for 
themselves. 

In the same year, 1555, the Marian attack on 
English heretics began and the sea became safer 
than the land for those who held strong anti- 
Papal views. The Royal Navy was neglected 
even more than it had been lately by the Lord 
Protector. But fighting traders, privateers, and 
pirates multiplied. The seaports were hotbeds 
of hatred against Mary, Philip, Papal Rome, and 
Spanish Inquisition. In 1556 Sebastian Cabot 
reappears, genial and prosperous as ever, and 
dances out of history at the sailing of the Serch- 
thrift, bound northeast for Muscovy. In 1557 
Philip came back to England for the last time and 
manoeuvred her into a war which cost her Calais, 
the last English foothold on the soil of France. 
During this war an English squadron joined 
Philip's vessels in a victory over the French off 
Gravelines, where Drake was to fight the Armada 
thirty years later. 

This first of the two battles fought at Gravelines 
brings us down to 1558, the year in which Mary 
died, Elizabeth succeeded her, and a very different 
English age began. 



CHAPTER III 

LIFE AFLOAT IN TUDOR TIMES 

Two stories from Hakluyt's Voyages will illustrate 
what sort of work the English were attempting 
in America about 1530, near the middle of Bang 
Henry's reign. The success of 'Master Haukins' 
and the failure of 'Master Hore' are quite typical 
of several other adventures in the New World. 

'Olde M. William Haukins of Plimmouth, a 
man for his wisdome, valure, experience, and skill 
in sea causes much esteemed and beloved of King 
Henry the eight, and being one of the principall 
Sea Captaines in the West partes of England in 
his time, not contented with the short voyages 
commonly then made onely to the knowen coastes 
of Europe, armed out a tall and goodlie ship of 
his owne, of the burthen of 250 tunnes, called the 
Pole of Plimmouth, wherewith he made three 
long and famous voyages vnto the coast of Brasill, 
a thing in those days very rare, especially to our 

3 33 



Si ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

Nation.' Hawkins first went down the Guinea 
Coast of Africa, 'where he trafiqued with the 
Negroes, and tooke of them Oliphants' teeth, and 
other commodities which that place yeeldeth; 
and so arriving on the coast of Brasil, used there 
such discretion, and behaved himselfe so wisely 
with those savage people, that he grew into great 
familiaritie and friendship with them. Inso- 
much that in his 2 voyage one of the savage kings 
of the Countrey of Brasil was contented to take 
ship with him, and to be transported hither into 
England. This kinge was presented unto King 
Henry 8. The King and all the Nobilitie did not 
a little marvel; for in his cheeks were holes, and 
therein small bones planted, which in his Countrey 
was reputed for a great braverie.' The poor 
Brazilian monarch died on his voyage back, 
which made Hawkins fear for the life of Martin 
Cockeram, whom he had left in Brazil as a hos- 
tage. However, the Brazilians took Hawkins's 
word for it and released Cockeram, who lived 
another forty years in Plymouth. *01de M. 
William Haukins' was the father of Sir John 
Hawkins, Drake's companion in arms, whom 
we shall meet later. He was also the grand- 
father of Sir Richard Hawkins, another naval 



LIFE AFLOAT IN TUDOR TIMES 35 

hero, and of the second William Hawkins, one 
of the founders of the greatest of all char- 
tered companies, the Honourable East India 
Company. 

Hawkins knew what he was about. 'Master 
Hore' did not. Hore was a well-meaning, plaus- 
ible fellow, good at taking up new-fangled ideas, 
bad at carrying them out, and the very cut of a 
wildcat company-promoter, except for his honesty. 
He persuaded 'divers young lawyers of the Innes 
of Court and Chancerie' to go to Newfoundland. 
A hundred and twenty men set oflF in this modern 
ship of fools, which ran into Newfoundland at 
night and was wrecked. There were no provisions; 
and none of the 'divers lawyers' seems to have 
known how to catch a fish. After trying to live 
on wild fruit they took to eating each other, in 
spite of Master Hore, who stood up boldly and 
warned them of the 'Fire to Come.' Just then 
a French fishing smack came in; whereupon 
the lawyers seized her, put her wretched crew 
ashore, and sailed away with all the food 
she had. The outraged Frenchmen found an- 
other vessel, chased the lawyers back to Eng- 
land, and laid their case before the King, who, 
'out of his Royall Bountie,' reimbursed the 



36 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

Frenchmen and let the 'divers lawyers' go 
scot free. 

Hawkins and Hore, and others like them, were 
the heroes of travellers' tales. But what was the 
ordinary life of the sailor who went down to the 
sea in the ships of the Tudor age ? There are very 
few quite authentic descriptions of life afloat 
before the end of the sixteenth century; and even 
then we rarely see the ship and crew about their 
ordinary work. Everybody was all agog for 
marvellous discoveries. Nobody, least of all a 
seaman, bothered his head about describing the 
daily routine on board. We know, however, 
that it was a lot of almost incredible hardship. 
Only the fittest could survive. Elizabethan lands- 
men may have been quite as prone to mistake 
comfort for civilization as most of the world is 
said to be now. Elizabethan sailors, when afloat, 
most certainly were not; and for the simple rea- 
son that there was no such thing as real comfort 
in a ship. 

Here are a few verses from the oldest genuine 
English sea-song known. They were written 
down in the fifteenth century, before the discovery 
of America, and were probably touched up a little 



LIFE AFLOAT IN TUDOR TIMES 37 

by the scribe. The original manuscript is now in 
Trinity College, Cambridge. It is a true nautical 
composition — a very rare thing indeed; for gen- 
uine sea-songs didn't often get into print and 
weren't enjoyed by landsmen when they did. 
The setting is that of a merchantman carrying 
passengers whose discomforts rather amuse the 
' schippemenne. ' 



Anon the master commandeth fast 
To his ship-men in all the hast[e]. 
To dresse them [line up] soon about the mast 
Their takeling to make. 

With Howe! Hissa! then they cry, 

'What howe! mate thou standest too nigh. 

Thy fellow may not haul thee by:' 

Thus they begin to crake [shout]. 

A boy or twain anon up-steyn [go aloft] 
And overthwart the sayle-yerde leyn [lie] 
Y-howl taylia! the remnant cryen [cry] 
And pull with all their might. 

Bestow the boat, boat-swain, anon. 
That our pylgrymms may play thereon; 
For some are like to cough and groan 
Ere it be full midnight. 



ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

Haul the bowline! Now veer the sheet! 
Cook, make ready anon our meat! 
Our pylgrymms have no lust to eat: 
I pray God give them rest. 

Go to the helm ! What ho ! no neare[r] ! 
Steward, fellow! a pot of beer! 
Ye shall have. Sir, with good cheer. 
Anon all of the best. 

Y-howe! Trussa! Haul in the brailes ! 
Thou haulest not! By God, thou failes[t]. 
O see how well our good ship sails! 
And thus they say among. 



Thys meane'whyle the pylgrymms lie. 
And have their bowls all fast them by, 
And cry after hot malvesy — 

'Their health for to restore.' 



Some lay their bookys on their knee. 
And read so long they cannot see. 
'Alas! mine head will split in three!' 
Thus sayeth one poor wight. 



A sack of straw were there right good; 
For some must lay them in their hood: 
I had as lief be in the wood. 

Without or meat or drink.' 



LIFE AFLOAT IN TUDOR TIMES 39 

For when that we shall go to bed, 
The pump is nigh our beddes head: 
A man he were as good be dead 

As smell thereof the stynke! 



Howe — hissa! is still used aboard deepwater- 
men as Ho — hissa! instead of Ho — hoist away! 
What ho, mate! is also known afloat, though dying 
out. Y-howe! taylia! is Yo — ho! tally! or Tally 
and belay! which means hauling aft and making 
fast the sheet of a mainsail or foresail. What ho! 
no nearer! is What ho! no higher now. But old 
salts remember no nearer! and it may be still ex- 
tant. Seasickness seems to have been the same 
as ever — so was the desperate effort to pretend 
one was not really feeling it: 



And cry after hot malvesy — 
'Their health for to restore.' 



Here is another sea-song, one sung by the sea- 
dogs themselves. The doubt is whether the 
Martial-men are Navy men, as distinguished from 
merchant-service men aboard a king's ship, or 
whether they are soldiers who want to take all 
sailors down a peg or two. This seems the more 



40 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

probable explanation. Soldiers 'ranked' sailors 
afloat in the sixteenth century; and Drake's was 
the first fleet in the world in which seamen- 
admirals were allowed to fight a purely naval 
action. 

We be three poor Mariners, newly come from the Seas, 
We spend our lives in jeopardy while others live at ease. 
We care not for those Martial-men that do our states 

disdain. 
But we care for those Merchant-men that do our states 

maintain. 

A third old sea-song gives voice to the universal 
complaint that landsmen cheat sailors who come 
home flush of gold. 

For Sailors they be honest men, 
And they do take great pains. 

But Land-men and ruffling lads 
Do rob them of their gains. 

Here, too, is some Cordial Advice against the 
wiles of the sea, addressed To all rash young Men, 
who think to Advance their decaying Fortunes by 
Navigation, as most of the sea-dogs (and gentlemen- 
adventurers like Gilbert, Raleigh, and Cavendish) 
tried to do. 



LIFE AFLOAT IN TUDOR TIMES 41 

You merchant men of Billingsgate, 

I wonder how you thrive. 
You bargain with men for six months 

And pay them but for five. 



This was an abuse that took a long time to die 
out. Even well on in the nineteenth century, 
and sometimes even on board of steamers, vic- 
tualling was only by the lunar month though 
service went by the calendar. 

A cursed cat with thrice three tails 
Doth much increase our woe 

is a poetical way of putting another seaman's 
grievance. 

People who regret that there is such a dis- 
crepancy between genuine sea-songs and shore- 
going imitations will be glad to know that the 
Mermaid is genuine, though the usual air to which 
it was sung afloat was harsh and decidedly inferior 
to the one used ashore. This example of the 
old 'fore-bitters' (so-called because sung from the 
fore-bitts, a convenient mass of stout timbers 
near the foremast) did not luxuriate in the repeti- 
tions of its shore-going rival: With a comb and a 
glass in her hand, her hand, her hand, etc. 



42 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

Solo. On Friday morn as we set sail 

It was not far from land. 
Oh, there I spied a fair pretty maid 
With a comb and a glass in her hand. 

Chorus. The stormy winds did blow, 
And the raging seas did roar. 
While we poor Sailors went to the tops 
And the land lubbers laid below. 

The anonymous author of a curious composi- 
tion entitled The Complaynt of Scotland, written 
in 1548, seems to be the only man who took more 
interest in the means than in the ends of seaman- 
ship. He was undoubtedly a landsman. But 
he loved the things of the sea; and his work is 
well worth reading as a vocabulary of the lingo 
that was used on board a Tudor ship. When the 
seamen sang it sounded like 'an echo in a cave.' 
Many of the outlandish words were Mediterra- 
nean terms which the scientific Italian navigators 
had brought north. Others were of Oriental 
origin, which was very natural in view of the 
long connection between East and West at sea. 
Admiral, for instance, comes from the Arabic for 
a commander-in-chief. Amir-al-bahr means com- 
mander of the sea. Most of the nautical techni- 
calities would strike a seaman of the present day 



LIFE AFLOAT IN TUDOR TIMES 43 

as being quite modern. The sixteenth-century 
skipper would be readily understood by a twentieth- 
century helmsman in the case of such orders as 
these: Keep full and by! Luff! Conker! Steady! 
Keep close! Our modern sailor in the navy, how- 
ever, would be hopelessly lost in trying to follow di- 
rections like the following : Make ready your cannons, 
middle culverins, bastard culverins, falcons, salcers, 
slings, headsticTcs, murderers, passevolants, bazzils, 
dogges, crook arquebusses, calivers, and hail shot! 

Another look at life afloat in the sixteenth 
century brings us once more into touch with 
America; for the old sea-dog directions for the 
TAKYNG OF A PRIZE Were admirably summed up 
in The Seaman's Grammar, which was compiled 
by 'Captaine John Smith, sometime Governour 
of Virginia and Admiral of New England' — 
'Pocahontas Smith,' in fact. 

'Asaai' 

'How bears she? To- wind ward or lee- ward? 
Set him by the compass!' 

'Hee stands right a-head' {or On the weather- 
bow, or lee-bow). 

'Let fly your colours!* (if you have a consort 
— else not). 'Out with all your sails! A steadie 
man at the helm! Give him chace!' 



44 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

'Hee holds his owne — No, wee gather on him, 
Captaine!' 

Out goes his flag and pendants, also his waist- 
cloths and top-armings, which is a long red cloth 
. . . that goeth round about the shippe on the out- 
sides of all her upper works and fore and main-tops, 
as well for the countenance and grace of the shippe 
as to cover the men from being seen. He furls and 
slings his main-yard. In goes his sprit-sail. Thus 
they strip themselves into their fighting sails, which 
is, only the foresail, the main and fore topsails, 
because the rest should not be fired nor spoiled; 
besides, they would be troublesome to handle, hinder 
our sights and the using of our arms. 

'He makes ready his close-fights, fore and 
aft.' [Bulkheads set up to cover men under 
fire] . . . 

'Every man to his charge! Dowse your top- 
sail to salute him for the sea! Hail him with a 
noise of trumpets!' 

'Whence is your ship?' 

'Of Spain — whence is yours?* 

'Of England.' 

'Are you merchants or men of war?* 

'We are of the Seal' 

He waves us to leeward with his drawn sward. 



LIFE AFLOAT IN TUDOR TIMES 45 

calls out 'Amain' for the King of Spain, and springs 
his luff [brings his vessel close by the wind]. 

'Give him a chase-piece with your broadside, 
and run a good berth a-head of him!' 

'Done, done!' 

'We have the wind of him, and now he tacks 
about!' 

'Tack about also and keep your luff! Be yare 
at the helm! Edge in with him! Give him a 
volley of small shot, also your prow and broadside 
as before, and keep your luff!' 

'He pays us shot for shot!' 

'Well, we shall requite him!' ... 

'Edge in with him again! Begin with your 
bow pieces, proceed with your broad-side, and 
let her fall off with the wind to give him also 
your full chase, your weather-broad-side, and 
bring her round so that the stern may also dis- 
charge, and your tacks close aboard again!' . . . 

' The wind veers, the sea goes too high to board 
her, and we are shot through and through, and 
between wind and water.' 

'Try the pump! Bear up the helm! Sling a 
man overboard to stop the leaks, that is, truss 
him up around the middle in a piece of canvas 
and a rope, with his arms at liberty, with a mallet 



46 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

and plugs lapped in oakum and well tarred, and 
a tar-pauling clout, which he will quickly beat 
into the holes the bullets made. ' 

•What cheer, Mates, is all Well?' 

'All's well!' 

'Then make ready to bear up with him again!' 

'With all your great and small shot charge him, 
board him thwart the hawse, on the bow, mid- 
ships, or, rather than fail, on his quarter; or make 
fast your grapplings to his close-fights and sheer 
off' [which would tear his cover down]. 

'Captain, we are foul of each other and the 
ship is on fire!' 

'Cut anything to get clear and smother the 
fire with wet cloths ! ' 

In such a case they will bee presentlie such friends 
as to help one the other all they can to get flear, lest 
they should both burn together and so sink: and, if 
they be generous, and the fire be quenched, they vnll 
drink kindly one to the other, heave their canns 
over-board, and begin again as before. , . . 

'Chirurgeon, look to the wounded, and wind 
up the slain, and give them three guns for their 
funerals! Swabber, make clean the ship ! Purser, 
record their names! Watch, be vigilant to keep 
yoxu" berth to windward, that we lose him not in 



LIFE AFLOAT IN TUDOR TIMES 47 

the night! Gunners, spunge your ordnance! 
Souldiers, scour your pieces! Carpenters, about 
your leaks! Boatswain and the rest, repair sails 
and shrouds! Cook, see you observe yoiu* direc- 
tions against the morning watch!' ... 

'Boy, hallo! is the kettle boiled?' 

*Ay, ay. Sir!' 

'Boatswain, call up the men to prayer and 
breakfast!' . . . 

Always have as much care to their wounded as 
to your ovm; and if there be either young women 
or aged men, use them nobly . . . 

'Sound drums and trumpets: saint george fob 
MERHiE England!' 



CHAPTER IV 

ELIZABETHAN ENGLAND 

Elizabethan England is the motherland, the 
true historic home, of all the different peoples 
who speak the sea-borne English tongue. In the 
reign of Elizabeth there was only one English- 
speaking nation. This nation consisted of a bare 
five million people, fewer than there are to- 
day in London or New York. But hardly had 
the Great Queen died before Englishmen began 
that colonizing movement which has carried 
their language the whole world round and estab- 
lished their civilization in every quarter of the 
globe. Within three centuries after Elizabeth's 
day the use of English as a native speech had 
grown quite thirtyfold. Within the same three 
centuries the number of those living under laws 
and institutions derived from England had grown 
a hundredfold. 

The England of Elizabeth was an England of 

48 



ELIZABETHAN ENGLAND 49 

great deeds, but of greater dreams. Elizabethan 
literature, take it for all in all, has never been 
surpassed; myriad-minded Shakespeare remains 
unequalled still. Elizabethan England was indeed 
'a nest of singing birds.' Prose was often far 
too pedestrian for the exultant life of such a 
mighty generation. As new worlds came into 
their expectant ken, the glowing Elizabethans 
wished to fly there on the soaring wings of verse. 
To them the tide of fortune was no ordinary stream 
but the ' white-maned, proud, neck-arching tide' 
that bore adventurers to sea 'with pomp of 
waters unwithstood. ' 

The goodly heritage that England gave her 
offspring overseas included Shakespeare and the 
English Bible. The Authorized Version entered 
into the very substance of early American life. 
There was a marked difference between Episco- 
palian Virginia and Puritan New England. But 
both took their stand on this version of the English 
Bible, in which the springs of Holy Writ rejoiced 
to run through channels of Elizabethan prose. 
It is true that Elizabeth slept with her fathers 
before this book of books was printed, and that 
the first of the Stuarts reigned in her stead. Never- 
theless the Authorized Version is pure Elizabethan. 



50 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

All its translators were Elizabethans, as their 
dedication to King James, still printed with every 
copy, gratefully acknowledges in its reference to 
'the setting of that bright Occidental Star, Queen 
Elizabeth of most happy memory, ' 

These words of the reverend scholars contain 
no empty compliment. Elizabeth was a great 
sovereign and, in some, essential particulars, a 
very great national leader. This daughter of 
Henry VIII and his second wife, Anne Boleyn the 
debonair, was born a heretic in 1533. Her father 
was then defying both Spain and the Pope. 
Within three years after her birth her mother was 
beheaded; and by Act of Parliament Elizabeth 
herself was declared illegitimate. She was four- 
teen when her father died, leaving the kingdom to 
his three children in succession, Elizabeth being 
the third. Then followed the Protestant reign of 
the boy-king Edward VI, during which Elizabeth 
enjoyed security; then the Catholic reign of her 
Spanish half-sister, 'Bloody Mary,' during which 
her life hung by the merest thread. 

At first, however, Mary concealed her hostility 
to Elizabeth because she thought the two daughters 
of Henry VIII ought to appear together in her 



ELIZABETHAN ENGLAND 51 

triumphal entry into London. From one point 
of view — and a feminine one at that — this was 
a fatal mistake on Mary's part: for never did 
Elizabeth show to more advantage. She was 
just under twenty, while Mary was nearly twice 
her age. Mary had, indeed, provided herself 
with one good foil in the person of Anne of Cleves, 
the 'Flemish mare' whose flat coarse face and 
lumbering body had disgusted King Henry thir- 
teen years before, when Cromwell had foisted 
her upon him as his fourth wife. But with poor, 
fat, straw-colored Anne on one side, and black- 
and-sallow, foreign-looking, man-voiced Mary 
on the other, the thoroughly English Princess 
Elizabeth took London by storm on the spot. 
Tall and majestic, she was a magnificent example 
of the finest Anglo-Norman type. Always 'the 
glass of fashion' and then the very 'mould of 
form' her splendid figure looked equally well on 
horseback or on foot. A little full in the eye, 
and with a slightly aquiline nose, she appeared, 
as she really was, keenly observant and com- 
manding. Though these two features just pre- 
vented her from being a beauty, the bright blue 
eyes and the finely chiselled nose were themselves 
quite beautiful enough. Nor was she less taking 



52 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

to the ear than to the eye; for, in marked contrast 
to gruff foreign Mary and wheezy foreign Anne, 
she had a rich, clear, though rather too loud, 
English voice. When the Court reined up and 
dismounted, Elizabeth became even more the 
centre of attraction. Mary marched stiffly on. 
Anne plodded after. But as for Elizabeth — per- 
fect in dancing, riding, archery, and all the sports 
of chivalry — ' she trod the ling like a buck in 
spring, and she looked like a lance in rest. ' 

When Elizabeth succeeded Mary in the autumn 
of 1558, she had dire need of all she had learnt in 
her twenty-five years of adventurous life. For- 
tunately for herself and, on the whole, most 
fortunately for both . England and America, she 
had a remarkable power of inspiring devotion to 
the service of their queen and country in men of 
both the cool and ardent types; and this long 
after her personal charms had gone. Govern- 
ment, religion, finance, defence, and foreign affairs 
were in a perilous state of flux, besides which they 
have never been more distractingly mixed up 
with one another. Henry "VTI had saved money 
for twenty-five years. His three successors had 
spent it lavishly for fifty. Henry VIII had kept 



ELIZABETHAN ENGLAND 53 

the Church Catholic in ritual while making it 
purely national in government. The I^ord Pro- 
tector Somerset had made it as Protestant as 
possible under Edward VI. Mary had done her 
best to bring it back to the Pope. Home affairs 
were full of doubts and dangers, though the great 
mass of the people were ready to give their hand- 
some young queen a fair chance and not a little 
favor. Foreign affairs were worse. France was 
still the hereditary enemy; and the loss of Calais 
under Mary had exasperated the whole English 
nation. Scotland was a constant menace in the 
north. Spain was gradually changing from friend 
to foe. The Pope was disinclined to recognize 
Elizabeth at all. 

To understand how difficult her position was 
we must remember what sort of constitution 
England had when the germ of the United States 
was forming. The Roman Empire was one 
constituent whole from the emperor down. The 
English-speaking peoples of to-day form constit- 
uent wholes from the electorate up. In both 
cases all parts were and are in constant relation 
to the whole. The case of Elizabethan England, 
however, was very different. There was neither 
despotic unity from above nor democratic unity 



54 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

from below, but a mixed and fluctuating kind of 
government in which Crown, nobles, parliament, 
and people formed certain parts which had to be 
put together for each occasion. The accepted 
general idea was that the sovereign, supreme as 
an individual, looked after the welfare of the 
country in peace and war so far as the Crown es- 
tates permitted; but that whenever the Crown 
resources would not suflice then the sovereign could 
call on nobles and people for whatever the common 
weal required. Noblesse oblige. In return for 
the estates or monopolies which they had ac- 
quired the nobles and favored commoners were 
expected to come forward with all their resources 
at every national crisis precisely as the Crown 
was expected to work for the common weal at 
all times. When the resources of the Crown and 
favored courtiers sufficed, no parliament was 
called; but whenever they had to be supplemented 
then parliament met and voted whatever it ap- 
proved. Finally, every English freeman was re- 
quired to do his own share towards defending 
the country in time of need, and he was further 
required to know the proper use of arms. 

The great object of every European court 
during early modern times was to get both the 



ELIZABETHAN ENGLAND 55 

old feudal nobility and the newly promoted 
commoners to revolve round the throne as round 
the centre of their solar system. By sheer force 
of character — for the Tudors had no overwhelm- 
ing army like the Roman emperors' — Henry 
VIII had succeeded wonderfully well. Elizabeth 
now had to piece together what had been broken 
under Edward VI and Mary. She, too, succeeded 
— and with the hearty goodwill of nearly all her 
subjects. 

Mary had left the royal treasury deeply in 
debt. Yet Elizabeth succeeded in paying off 
all arrears and meeting new expenditure for de- 
fence and for the court. The royal income rose. 
England became immensely richer and more 
prosperous than ever before. Foreign trade in- 
creased by leaps and bounds. Home industries 
flourished and were stimulated by new arrivals 
from abroad, because England was a safe asylum 
for the craftsmen whom Philip was driving from 
the Netherlands, to his own great loss and his 
rival's gain. 

English commercial life had been slowly emerg- 
ing from mediaeval ways throughout the fifteenth 
century. With the beginning of the sixteenth 



56 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

the rate of emergence had greatly quickened. 
The soil-bound peasant who produced enough 
food for his family from his thirty acres was 
being gradually replaced by the well-to-do yeo- 
man who tilled a hundred acres and upwards. 
Such holdings produced a substantial surplus 
for the market. This increased the national 
wealth, which, in its turn, increased both home 
and foreign trade. The peasant merely raised a 
little wheat and barley, kept a cow, and perhaps 
some sheep. The yeoman or tenant farmer had 
sheep enough for the wool trade besides some 
butter, cheese, and meat for the nearest growing 
town. He began to 'garnish his cupboards with 
pewter and his joined beds with tapestry and 
silk hangings, and his tables with carpets and 
fine napery. ' He could even feast his neighbors 
and servants after shearing day with new-fangled 
foreign luxuries like dates, mace, raisins, currants, 
and sugar. 

But Elizabethan society presented striking 
contrasts. In parts of England, the practice of 
engrossing and enclosing holdings was increasing, 
as sheep-raising became more profitable than 
farming. The tenants thus dispossessed either 
swelled the ranks of the vagabonds who infested 



ELIZABETHAN ENGLAND 57 

the highways or sought their livehhood at sea or in 
London, which provided the two best openings 
for adventurous young men. The smaller pro- 
vincial towns afforded them little opportunity, 
for there the trades were largely in the hands of 
close corporations descended from the mediaeval 
craft guilds. These were eventually to be swept 
away by the general trend of business. Their 
dissolution had indeed already begun; for smart 
village craftsmen were even then forming the 
new industrial settlements from which most of 
the great manufacturing towns of England have 
sprung. Camden the historian found Birming- 
ham full of ringing anvils, Sheffield 'a town of 
great name for the smiths therein, ' Leeds renowned 
for cloth, and Manchester already a sort of Cotton- 
opolis, though the 'cottons' of those days were 
still made of wool. 

There was a wages question then as now. There 
were demands for a minimum living wage. The 
influx of gold and silver from America had sent 
all prices soaring. Meat became almost pro- 
hibitive for the 'submerged tenth' — there was a 
rapidly submerging tenth. Beef rose from one 
cent a pound in the forties to four in 1588, the 
year of the Armada. How would the lowest 



58 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

paid of craftsmen fare on twelve cents a day, 
with butter at ten cents a pound? Efforts were 
made, again and again, to readjust the ratio 
between prices and wages. But, as a rule, prices 
increased much faster than wages. 

All these things — the increase of surplus hands, 
the high cost of living, grievances about wages 
and interest — tended to make the farms and 
workshops of England recruiting-grounds for the 
sea; and the young men would strike out for 
themselves as freighters, traders, privateers, or 
downright pirates, lured by the dazzling chance of 
great and sudden wealth. 

'The gamble of it' was as potent then as now, 
probably more potent still. It was an age of 
wild speculation accompanied by all the usual 
evils that follow frenzied ways. It was also an 
age of monopoly. Both monopoly and specula- 
tion sent recruits into the sea-dog ranks. Eliza- 
beth would grant, say, to Sir Walter Raleigh, 
the monopoly of sweet wines. Raleigh would 
naturally want as much sweet wine imported as 
England could be induced to swallow. So, too, 
would Elizabeth, who got the duty. Crews 
would be wanted for the monopolistic ships. 
They would also be wanted for 'free-trading* 



ELIZABETHAN ENGLAND 59 

vessels, that is, for the ships of the smugglers who 
underbid, undersold, and tried to overreach the 
monopolist, who represented law, though not 
quite justice. But speculation ran to greater 
extremes than either monopoly or smuggling. 
Shakespeare's 'Putter-out of five for one' was a 
typical Elizabethan speculator exploiting the 
riskiest form of sea-dog trade for all — and some- 
times for more than all — that it was worth. 
A merchant-adventurer would pay a capitalist, 
say, a thousand pounds as a premium to be for- 
feited if his ship should be lost, but to be repaid 
by the capitalist fivefold to the merchant if it 
returned. Incredible as it may seem to us, 
there were shrewd money-lenders always ready 
for this sort of deal in life — or lif e-and-death — 
insurance: an eloquent testimony to the risks 
encountered in sailing unknown seas in the midst 
of well-known dangers. 

Marine insurance of the regular kind was, of 
course, a very different thing. It was already of 
immemorial age, going back certainly to mediaeval 
and probably to very ancient times. All forms of 
insurance on land are mere mushrooms by com- 
parison. Lloyd's had not been heard of. But 
there were plenty of smart Elizabethan under- 



60 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

writers already practising the general principles 
which were to be formally adopted two hundred 
years later, in 1779, at Lloyd's Coffee House. A 
policy taken out on the Tiger immortalized by 
Shakespeare would serve as a model still. And 
what makes it all the more interesting is that the' 
Elizabethan underwriters calculated the Tiger's 
chances at the very spot where the association 
known as Lloyd's transacts its business to-day, 
the Royal Exchange in London. This, in turn, 
brings Elizabeth herself upon the scene; for when 
she visited the Exchange, which Sir Thomas 
Gresham had built to let the merchants do their 
street work under cover, she immediately grasped 
its full significance and 'caused it by an Herald 
and a Trumpet to be proclaimed The Royal 
Exchange, ' the name it bears to-day. An Eliz- 
abethan might well be astonished by what he 
would see at any modern Lloyd's. Yet he would 
find the same essentials; for the British Lloyd's, 
like most of its foreign imitators, is not a gigantic 
insurance company at all, but an association of 
cautiously elected members who carry on their 
completely independent private business in daily 
touch with each other — precisely as Elizabethans 
did. Lloyd's method differs wholly from ordi- 



ELIZABETHAN ENGLAND 61 

nary insurance. Instead of insuring vessel and 
cargo with a single company or man the owner 
puts his case before Lloyd's, and any member can 
then write his name underneath for any reason- 
able part of the risk. The modern 'underwriter,* 
all the world over, is the direct descendant of the 
Elizabethan who wrote his name under the con- 
ditions of a given risk at sea. 

Joint-stock companies were in one sense old 
when Elizabethan men of business were young. 
But the Elizabethans developed them enormously. 
'Going shares' was doubtless prehistoric. It 
certainly was ancient, mediaeval, and Elizabethan. 
But those who formerly went shares generally 
knew each other and something of the business 
too. The favorite number of total shares was 
just sixteen. There were sixteen land-shares in 
a Celtic household, sixteen shares in Scottish 
vessels not individually owned, sixteen shares in 
the theatre by which Shakespeare 'made his pile.' 
But sixteenths, and even hundredths, were put 
out of date when speculation on the grander 
scale began and the area of investment grew. 
The New River Company, for supplying London 
with water, had only a few shares then, as it con- 
tinued to have down to our own day, when they 



62 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

stood at over a thousand times par. The Ulster 
'Plantation' in Ireland was more remote and 
appealed to more investors and on wider grounds 
— sentimental grounds, both good and bad, 
included. The Virginia 'Plantation' was still 
more remote and risky and appealed to an ever- 
increasing number of the speculating public. 
Many an investor put money on America in much 
the same way as a factory hand to-day puts 
money on a horse he has never seen or has never 
heard of otherwise than as something out of which 
a lot of easy money can be made provided luck 
holds good. 

The modern prospectus was also in full career 
under Elizabeth, who probably had a hand in 
concocting some of the most important specimens. 
Lord Bacon wrote one describing the advantages 
of the Newfoundland fisheries in terms which no 
promoter of the present day could better. Every 
type of prospectus was tried on the investing 
public, some genuine, many doubtful, others as 
outrageous in their impositions on human credulity 
as anything produced in our own times. The 
cempany-promoter was abroad, in London, on 
'Change, and at court. What with royal favor, 
social prestige, general prosperity, the new na- 



ELIZABETHAN ENGLAND 63 

tional eagerness to find vent for surplus com- 
modities, and, above all, the spirit of speculation 
fanned into flame by the real and fabled wonders 
of America, what with all this the investing public 
could take its choice of 'going the limit' in a hun- 
dred different and most alluring ways. England 
was surprised at her own investing wealth. The 
East India Company raised eight million dollars 
with ease from a thousand shareholders and paid 
a first dividend of 873/^ per cent. Spices, pearls, 
and silks came pouring into London; and English 
goods found vent increasingly abroad. 

Vastly expanding business opportunities of 
course produced the spirit of the trust — and of 
very much the same sort of trust that Americans 
think so ultra-modern now. Monopolies granted 
by the Crown and the volcanic forces of widespread 
speculation prevented some of the abuses of the 
trust. But there were Elizabethan trusts, for 
all that, though many a promising scheme fell 
through. The Feltmakers' Hat Trust is a case 
in point. They proposed buying up all the hats 
in the market so as to oblige all dealers to depend 
upon one central warehouse. Of course they 
issued a prospectus showing how everyone con- 
cerned would benefit by this benevolent plan. 



64 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

Ben Jonson and other playwrights were quick to 
seize the salient absurdities of such an advertise- 
ment. In The Staple of News Jonson proposed 
a News Trust to collect all the news of the world, 
corner it, classify it into authentic, apocryphal, 
barber's gossip, and so forth, and then sell it, 
for the sole benefit of the consumer, in lengths to 
suit all purchasers. In The Devil is an Ass he is 
a little more outspoken. 

We'll take in citizens, commoners, and aldermen 
To bear the charge, and blow them off again 
Like so many dead flies. . . . 

This was exactly what was at that very moment 
being done in the case of the Alum Trust. All 
the leading characters of much more modern 
times were there already; Fitzdottrell, ready to 
sell his estates in order to become His Grace the 
Duke of Drown'dland, Gilthead, the London 
moneylender who 'lives by finding fools,' and My 
Lady Tailbush, who pulls the social wires at court. 
And so the game went on, usually with the result 
explained by Shakespeare's fisherman in Pericles: 

'I marvel how the fishes live in the sea' — 
'Why, as men do a-land: the great ones eat up the 
little ones. ' 



ELIZABETHAN ENGLAND 65 

The Newcastle coal trade grew into something 
very like a modern American trust with the ad- 
ditional advantage of an authorized government 
monopoly so long as the agreed-upon duty was 
paid. Then there was the Starch Monopoly, 
a very profitable one because starch was a new 
delight which soon enabled Elizabethan fops to 
wear ruffed collars big enough to make their 
heads — as one irreverent satirist exclaimed — 
' look like John Baptist's on a platter. ' 

But America.? Could not America defeat the 
machinations of all monopolies and other trusts? 
Wasn't America the land of actual gold and silver 
where there was plenty of room for everyone.'' 
There soon grew up a wild belief that you could 
tap America for precious metals almost as its 
Indians tapped maple trees for sugar. The 
'Mountains of Bright Stones' were surely there. 
Peru and Mexico were nothing to these. Only 
find them, and 'get-rich-quick' would be the 
order of the day for every true adventurer. These 
mountains moved about in men's imaginations 
and on prospectors' maps, always ahead of the 
latest pioneer, somewhere behind the Back of 
Beyond. They and their glamour died hard. 
Even that staid geographer of a later day, Thos. 



66 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

Jeffreys, added to his standard atlas of America, 
in 1760, this item of information on the Far 
Northwest: Hereabouts are supposed to be the 
Mountains of Bright Stones mentioned in the Map 
of y^ Indian Ochagach. 

Speculation of the wildcat kind was bad. But 
it was the seamy side of a praiseworthy spirit of 
enterprise. Monopoly seems worse than specula- 
tion. And so, in many ways, it was. But we 
must judge it by the custom of its age. It was 
often unjust and generally obstructive. But it 
did what neither the national government nor 
joint-stock companies had yet learnt to do. 
Monopoly went by court favor, and its rights were 
often scandalously let and sometimes sublet as 
well. But, on the whole, the Queen, the court, 
and the country really meant business, and mo- 
nopolists had either to deliver the goods or get 
out. Monopolists sold dispensations from un- 
workable laws, which was sometimes a good thing 
and sometimes a bad. They sold licenses for 
indulgence in forbidden pleasures, not often 
harmless. They thought out and collected all 
kinds of indirect taxation and had to face all the 
troubles that confront the framers of a tariff policy 
to-day. Most of all, however, in a rough-and- 



ELIZABETHAN ENGLAND 67 

ready way they set a sort of Civil Service going. 
They served as Boards of Trade, Departments 
of the Interior, Customs, Inland Revenue, and so 
forth. What Crown and Parliament either could 
not or would not do was farmed out to monopolists. 
Like speculation the system worked both ways, 
and frequently for evil. But, like the British 
constitution, though on a lower plane, it worked. 
A monopoly at home — like those which we 
have been considering — was endurable because 
it was a working compromise that suited existing 
circumstances more or less, and that could be 
either mended or ended as time went on. But a 
general foreign monopoly — like Spain's monopoly 
of America — was quite unendurable. Could Spain 
not only hold what she had discovered and was ex- 
ploiting but also extend her sphere of influence over 
what she had not discovered.'' Spain said Yes. 
England said No. The Spaniards looked for trib- 
ute. The English looked for trade. In govern- 
ment, in religion, in business, in everything, the two 
great rivals were irreconcilably opposed. Thus the 
lists were set; and sea-dog battles followed. 

Elizabeth was an exceedingly able woman of 
business and was practically president of all the 



68 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

great joint-stock companies engaged in oversea 
trade. Wherever a cargo could be bought or 
sold there went an English ship to buy or sell it. 
Whenever the authorities in foreign parts tried 
discrimination against English men or English 
goods, the English sea-dogs growled and showed 
their teeth. And if the foreigners persisted, the 
sea-dogs bit them. 

Elizabeth was extravagant at court; but not 
without state motives for at least a part of her 
extravagance. A brilliant court attracted the 
upper classes into the orbit of the Crown while it 
impressed the whole country with the sovereign's 
power. Courtiers favored with monopolies had 
to spend their earnings when the state was threat- 
ened. And might not the Queen's vast profusion 
of jewelry be turned to account at a pinch? 
Elizabeth could not afford to be generous when 
she was young. She grew to be stingy when she 
was old. But she saved the state by sound 
finance as well as by arms in spite of all her pomps 
and vanities. She had three thousand dresses, 
and gorgeous ones at that, during the course of 
her reign. Her bathroom was wainscoted with 
Venetian mirrors so that she could see 'nine-and- 
ninety' reflections of her very comely person as 



ELIZABETHAN ENGLAND 69 

she dipped and splashed or dried her royal skin. 
She set a hot pace for all the votaries of dress to 
follow. All kinds of fashions came in from abroad 
with the rush of new-found wealth; and so, in- 
stead of being sanely beautiful, they soon became 
insanely bizarre. *An Englishman,' says Harri- 
son, 'endeavouring to write of our attire, gave 
over his travail, and only drew the picture of a 
naked man, since he could find no kind of garment 
that could please him any whiles together. 

I am an English man and naked I stand here, 
Musing in my mind what raiment I shall were; 
For now I will were this, and now I will were that; 
And now I will were I cannot tell what. 

Except you see a dog in a doublet you shall not 
see any so disguised as are my countrymen of 
England. Women also do far exceed the light- 
ness of our men. What shall I say of their galli- 
gascons to bear out their attire and make it fit 
plum round.?' But the wives of 'citizens and 
burgesses, ' like all nouveaux riches, were still more 
bizarre than the courtiers. 'They cannot tell 
when or how to make an end, being women in 
whom all kind of curiosity is to be seen in far 
greater measure than in women of higher calling. 



70 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

I might name hues devised for the nonce, ver 
d'oye 'twixt green and yallow, peas-porridge tawny, 
popinjay blue, and the Devil-in-the-head. ' 

Yet all this crude absurdity, 'from the courtier 
to the carter,' was the glass reflecting the constantly 
increasing sea-borne trade, ever pushing farther 
afield under the stimulus and protection of the 
sea-dogs. And the Queen took precious good 
care that it all paid toll to her treasury through 
the customs, so that she could have more money 
to build more ships. And if her courtiers did stuff 
their breeches out with sawdust, she took equally 
good care that each fighting man among them 
donned his uniform and raised his troops or fitted 
out his ships when the time was ripe for action. 



CHAPTER V 

HAWKINS ANB THE FIGHTING TRADERS 

Said Francis I of France to Charles V, King 
of Spain: 'Your Majesty and the King of 
Portugal have divided the world between you, 
offering no part of it to me. Show me, I pray 
you, the will of our father Adam, so that I may 
see if he has really made you his only univer- 
sal heirs!' Then Francis sent out the Italian 
navigator Verrazano, who first explored the 
coast from Florida to Newfoundland. Afterwards 
Jacques Cartier discovered the St. Lawrence; 
Frenchmen took Havana twice, plundered the 
Spanish treasure-ships, and tried to found colo- 
nies — Catholic in Canada, Protestant in Florida 
and Brazil. 

Thus, at the time when Elizabeth ascended the 
throne of England in 1558, there was a long- 
established New Spain extending over Mexico, 
the West Indies, and most of South America; 

71 



72 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

a small New Portugal confined to part of Brazil; 
and a shadowy New France running vaguely 
inland from the Gulf of St. Lawrence, nowhere 
effectively occupied, and mostly overlapping 
prior English claims based on the discoveries of 
the Cabots. 

England and France had often been enemies. 
England and Spain had just been allied in a war 
against France as well as by the marriage of Philip 
and Mary. William Hawkins had traded with 
Portuguese Brazil under Henry VIII, as the 
Southampton merchants were to do later on. 
English merchants lived in Lisbon and Cadiz; 
a few were even settled in New Spain; and a 
friendly Spaniard had been so delighted by the 
prospective union of the English with the Spanish 
crown that he had given the name of Londres 
(London) to a new settlement in the Argentine 
Andes. 

Presently, however, Elizabethan England began 
to part company with Spain, to become more 
anti-Papal, to sympathize with Huguenots and 
other heretics, and, like Francis I, to wonder why 
an immense new world should be nothing but 
New Spain. Besides, Englishmen knew what 
the rest of Europe knew, that the discovery of 



HAWKINS AND THE FIGHTING TRADERS 73 

Potosi had put out of business nearly all the Old- 
World silver mines, and that the Burgundian 
Ass (as Spanish treasure-mules were called, from 
Charles's love of Burgundy) had enabled Spain 
to make conquests, impose her will on her neigh- 
bors, and keep paid spies in every foreign court, 
the English court included. Londoners had seen 
Spanish gold and , silver paraded through the 
streets when Philip married Mary — '27 chests 
of bullion, 99 horseloads + 2 cartloads of gold and 
silver coin, and 97 boxes full of silver bars!' 
Moreover, the Holy Inquisition was making 
Spanish seaports pretty hot for heretics. In 
1562, twenty-six English subjects were burnt alive 
in Spain itself. Ten times as many were in prison. 
No wonder sea-dogs were straining at the leash. 

Neither Philip nor Elizabeth wanted war just 
then, though each enjoyed a thrust at the other 
by any kind of fighting short of that, and though 
each winked at all kinds of armed trade, such as 
privateering and even downright piracy. The 
English and Spanish merchants had commercial 
connections going back for centuries; and busi- 
ness men on both sides were always ready to do 
a good stroke for themselves. 

This was the state of affairs in 1562 when young 



74 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

John Hawkins, son of 'Olde Master William,' 
went into the slave trade with New Spain. Ex- 
cept for the fact that both Portugal and Spain 
allowed no trade with their oversea possessions 
in any ships but their own, the circumstances 
appeared to favor his enterprise. The American 
Indians were withering away before the atrocious 
cruelties of the Portuguese and Spaniards, being 
either killed in battle, used up in merciless slavery, 
or driven off to alien wilds. Already the Portu- 
guese had commenced to import negroes from their 
West African possessions, both for themselves 
and for trade with the Spaniards, who had none. 
Brazil prospered beyond expectation and absorbed 
all the blacks that Portuguese shipping could 
supply. The Spaniards had no spare tonnage at 
the time. 

John Hawkins, aged thirty, had made several 
trips to the Canaries. He now formed a joint- 
stock company to trade with the Spaniards farther 
off. Two Lord Mayors of London and the Treas- 
urer of the Royal Navy were among the subscrib- 
ers. Three small vessels, with only two hundred 
and sixty tons between them, formed the flotilla. 
The crews numbered just a hundred men. *At 
Teneriffe he received friendly treatment. From 



HAWKINS AND THE FIGHTING TRADERS 75 

thence he passed to Sierra Leona, where he stayed 
a good time, and got into his possession, partly 
by the sword and partly by other means, to the 
number of 300 Negroes at the least, besides other 
merchandises. . . . With this prey he sailed 
over the ocean sea unto the island of Hispaniola 
[Hayti] . . . and here he had reasonable utterance 
[sale] of his English commodities, as also of some 
part of his Negroes, trusting the Spaniards no 
further than that by his own strength he was 
able still to master them.' At 'Monte Christi, 
another port on the north side of Hispaniola . . . 
he made vent of [sold] the whole number of his 
Negroes, for which he received by way of ex- 
change such a quantity of merchandise that he 
did not only lade his own three ships with hides, 
ginger, sugars, and some quantity of pearls, but 
he freighted also two other hulks with hides and 
other like commodities, which he sent into Spain,' 
where both hulks and hides were confiscated as 
being contraband. 

Nothing daunted, he was off again in 1564 with 
four ships and a hundred and seventy men. This 
time Elizabeth herself took shares and lent the 
Jesus of Luheck, a vessel of seven hundred tons 
which Henry VIII had bought for the navy. 



76 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

Nobody questioned slavery In those days. The 
great Spanish missionary Las Casas denounced 
the Spanish atrocities against the Indians. But 
he thought negroes, who could be domesticated, 
would do as substitutes for Indians, who could 
not be domesticated. The Indians withered at 
the white man's touch. The negroes, if properly 
treated, throve, and were safer than among their 
enemies at home. Such was the argument for 
slavery; and it was true so far as it went. The 
argument against, on the score of ill treatment, 
was only gradually heard. On the score of general 
human rights it was never heard at all. 

'At departing, in cutting the foresail lashings a 
marvellous misfortune happened to one of the 
officers in the ship, who by the pulley of the 
sheet was slain out of hand.' Hawkins 'ap- 
pointed all the masters of his ships an Order for 
the keeping of good company in this manner: — 
The small ships to be always ahead and aweather 
of the Jesus, and to speak twice a-day with the 
Jesus at least. ... If the weather be extreme, 
that the small ships cannot keep company with 
the Jesus, then all to keep company with the 
Solomon. ... If any happen to any misfortune, 
then to show two lights, and to shoot off a piece 



HAWKINS AND THE FIGHTING TRADERS 77 

of ordnance. If any lose company and come in 
sight again, to make three yaws [zigzags in their 
course] and strike the mizzen three times, serve 

GOD DAILY. LOVE ONE ANOTHER. PRESERVE 
YOUR VICTUALS. BEWARE OF FIRE, AND KEEP 
GOOD COMPANY. ' 

John Sparke, the chronicler of this second voy- 
age, was full of curiosity over every strange sight 
he met with. He was also blessed with the pen of 
a ready writer. So we get a story that is more 
vivacious than Hakluyt's retelling of the first 
voyage or Hawkins's own account of the third. 
Sparke saw for the first time in his life negroes, 
Caribs, Indians, alligators, flying-fish, flamingoes, 
pelicans, and many other strange sights. Having 
been told that Florida was full of unicorns he at 
once concluded that it must also be full of lions; 
for how could the one kind exist without the other 
kind to balance it.'' Sparke was a soldier who 
never found his sea legs. But his diary, besides 
its other merits, is particularly interesting as 
being the first account of America ever written 
by an Enghsh eye-witness. 

Hawkins made for Teneriffe in the Canaries, oflf 
the west of Africa. There, to everybody's great 
'amaze,' the Spaniards 'appeared levelling of 



78 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

bases [small portable cannon] and arquebuses, 
with divers others, to the number of fourscore, 
with halberds, pikes, swords, and targets.' But 
when it was found that Hawkins had been taken 
for a privateer, and when it is remembered that 
four hundred privateering vessels — English and 
Huguenot — had captured seven hundred Span- 
ish prizes during the previous summer of 1563, 
there was and is less cause for ' amaze. ' Once 
explanations had been made, 'Peter de Ponte 
gave Master Hawkins as gentle entertainment as 
if he had been his own brother.' Peter was a 
trader with a great eye for the main chance. 

Sparke was lost in wonder over the famous 
Arbol Santo tree of Ferro, 'by the dropping 
whereof the inhabitants and cattle are satisfied 
with water, for other water they have none on 
the island.' This is not quite the traveller's 
tale it appears to be. There are three springs on 
the island of Teneriffe. But water is scarce, and 
the Arbol Santo, a sort of gigantic laurel standing 
alone on a rocky ledge, did actually supply two 
cisterns, one for men and the other for cattle. 
The morning mist condensing on the innumerable 
smooth leaves ran off and was caught in suitable 
conduits. 



HAWKINS AND THE FIGHTING TRADERS 79 

In Africa Hawkins took many 'Sapies which 
do inhabit about Rio Grande [now the Jeba River] 
which do jag their flesh, both legs, arms, and bodies 
as workmanlike as a jerkin-maker with us pinketh 
a jerkin.' It is a nice question whether these 
Sapies gained or lost by becoming slaves to 
white men; for they were already slaves to black 
conquerors who used them as meat with the vege- 
tables they forced them to raise. The Sapies 
were sleek pacifists who found too late that the 
warlike Samboses, who inhabited the neighboring 
desert, were not to be denied. 

'In the island of Sambula we found almadies 
or canoas, which are made of one piece of wood, 
digged out like a trough, but of a good proportion, 
being about eight yards long and one in breadth, 
having a beak-head and a stern very proportion- 
ably made, and on the outside artificially carved, 
and painted red and blue.' Neither almadie nor 
canoa is, of course, an African word. One is 
Arabic for a cradle {el-mahd); the other, from 
which we get canoe, is what the natives told 
Columbus they called their dugouts; and dug- 
out canoes are very like primitive cradles. Thus 
Sparke was the first man to record in English, 
from actual experience, the aboriginal craft whose 



80 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

name, both East and West, was suggested to 
primeval man by the idea of his being literally 
'rocked in the cradle of the deep.' 

Hawkins did not have it all his own way with 
the negroes, by whom he once lost seven of his 
own men killed and twenty-seven wounded. 'But 
the captain in a singular wise manner carried 
himself with countenance very cheerful outwardly, 
although inwardly his heart was broken in pieces 
for it; done to this end, that the Portugals, being 
with him, should not presume to resist against 
him.' After losing five more men, who were 
eaten by sharks, Hawkins shaped his course 
westward with a good cargo of negroes and 'other 
merchandises.' 'Contrary winds and some tor- 
nados happened to us very ill. But the Almighty 
God, who never suffereth His elect to perish, sent 
us the ordinary Breeze, which never left us till 
we came to an island of the Cannibals ' (Caribs of 
Dominica), who, by the by, had just eaten a 
shipload of Spaniards. 

Hawkins found the Spanish officials determined 
to make a show of resisting unauthorized trade. 
But when 'he prepared 100 men well armed with 
bows, arrows, arquebuses, and pikes, with which 
he marched town wards,' the officials let the sale 



HAWKINS AND THE FIGHTING TRADERS 81 

of blacks go on. Hawkins was particularly anx- 
ious to get rid of his 'lean negroes,' who might 
die in his hands and become a dead loss; so he 
used the 'gunboat argument' to good effect. 
Sparke kept his eyes open for side-shows and was 
delighted with the alligators, which he called 
crocodiles, perhaps for the sake of the crocodile 
tears. 'His nature is to cry and sob like a Chris- 
tian to provoke his prey to come to him; and 
thereupon came this proverb, that is applied 
unto women when they weep, lachrymos crocodili. * 
From the West Indies Hawkins made for Florida, 
which was then an object of exceptional desire 
among adventurous Englishmen. De Soto, one 
of Pizarro's lieutenants, had annexed it to Spain 
and, in 1539, had started off inland to discover 
the supposed Peru of North America. Three 
years later he had died while descending the valley 
of the Mississippi. Six years later again, the first 
Spanish missionary in Florida 'taking upon him 
to persuade the people to subjection, was by them 
taken, and his skin cruelly pulled over his ears, 
and his flesh eaten.' Hawkins's men had fair 
warning on the way; for 'they, being ashore, 
found a dead man, dried in a manner whole, with 
other heads and bodies of men, ' apparently smoked 

6 



82 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

like hams, 'But to return to our purpose,' adds 
tlie indefatigable Sparke, 'the captain in the ship's 
pinnace sailed along the shore and went into every 
creek, speaking with divers of the Floridians, be- 
cause he would understand where the Frenchmen 
inhabited.' Finally he found them 'in the river 
of May [now St. John's River] and standing in 
30 degrees and better.' There was 'great store 
of maize and mill, and grapes of great bigness. 
Also deer great plenty, which came upon the 
sands before them. ' 

So here were the three rivals overlapping again 
— the annexing Spaniards, the would-be coloniz- 
ing French, and the persistently trading English. 
There were, however, no Spaniards about at that 
time. This was the second Huguenot colony in 
Florida. Ren6 de Laudonniere had founded it 
in 1564. The first one, founded two years earlier 
by Jean Ribaut, had failed and Ribaut's men had 
deserted the place. They had started for home 
in 1563, had suffered terrible hardships, had been 
picked up by an English vessel, and taken, some 
to France and some to England, where the court 
was all agog about the wealth of Florida. People 
said there were mines so bright with jewels that 
they had to be approached at night lest the flash- 



HAWKINS AND THE FIGHTING TRADERS 83 

ing Kght should strike men blind. Florida be- 
came proverbial; and Elizabethan wits made 
endless fun of it. Stolida, or the land of fools, 
and Sordida, or the land of muck-worms, were 
some of iheir jeux d' esprit. Everyone was 'bound 
for Florida, ' whether he meant to go there or not, 
despite Spanish spheres of influence, the native 
cannibals, and pirates by the way. 

Hawkins, on the contrary, did not profess to 
be bound for Florida. Nevertheless he arrived 
there, and probably had intended to do so from 
the first, for he took with him a Frenchman who 
had been in Ribaut's colony two years before, and 
Sparke significantly says that 'the land is more 
than any [one] king Christian is able to inhabit. ' 
However this may be, Hawkins found the second 
French colony as well as 'a French ship of four- 
score ton, and two pinnaces of fifteen ton apiece 
by her . . . and a fort, in which their captain 
Monsieur Laudonniere was, with certain soldiers 
therein.' The colony had not been a success. 
Nor is this to be wondered at when we remember 
that most of the 'certain soldiers' were ex-pirates, 
who wanted gold, and 'who would not take the 
pains so much as to fish in the river before their 
doors, but would have all things put in their 



84 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

mouths.' Eighty of the original two hundred 
'went a-roving' to the West Indies, 'where they 
spoiled the Spaniards . . . and were of such 
haughty stomachs that they thought their force 
to be such that no man durst meddle with them. 
. . . But God . . . did indurate their hearts in 
such sort that they lingered so long that a [Span- 
ish] ship and galliasse being made out of St. 
Domingo . . . took twenty of them, whereof the 
most part were hanged . . . and twenty-five 
escaped ... to Florida, where . . . they were 
put into prison [by Laudonniere, against whom 
they had mutinied] and . . . four of the chiefest 
being condemned, at the request of the soldiers 
did pass the arquebusers, and then were hanged 
upon a gibbet.' Sparke got the delightful ex- 
pression 'at the request of the soldiers did pass 
the arquebusers' from a 'very polite' Frenchman. 
Could any one tell you more politely, in mistrans- 
lated language, how to stand up and be shot.? 

Sparke was greatly taken with the unknown 
art of smoking. 'The Floridians . . . have an 
herb dried, who, with a cane and an earthen cup 
in the end, with fire and the dried herbs put to- 
gether, do suck through the cane the smoke 
thereof, which smoke satisfieth their hunger. 



HAWKINS AND THE FIGHTING TRADERS 85 

and therewith they live four or five days without 
meat or drink. And this all the Frenchmen 
used for this purpose; yet do they hold opinion 
withal that it causeth water and steam to void from 
their stomachs.' The other ' commodities of the 
land' were ' more than are yet known to any man. ' 
But Hawkins was bent on trade, not colonizing. 
He sold the Tiger, a barque of fifty tons, to Lau- 
donniere for seven hundred crowns and sailed 
north on the first voyage ever made along the 
coast of the United States by an all-English crew. 
Turning east off Newfoundland 'with a good 
large wind, the 20 September [1565] we came to 
Padstow, in Cornwall, God be thanked! in safety, 
with the loss of twenty persons in all the voyage, 
and with great profit to the venturers, as also to 
the whole realm, in bringing home both gold, 
silver, pearls, and other jewels great store. His 
name, therefore, be praised for evermore. Amen. ' 
Hawkins was now a rich man, a favorite at 
court, and quite the rage in London. The Queen 
was very gracious and granted him the well- 
known coat of arms with the crest of 'a denii- 
Moor, bound and captive' in honor of the great 
new English slave trade. The Spanish ambas- 
sador met him at court and asked him to dinner. 



86 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

where, over the wine, Hawkins assured him that 
he was going out again next year. Meanwhile, 
however, the famous Captain-General of the 
Indian trade, Don Pedro Menendez de Aviles, 
the best naval officer that Spain perhaps has 
ever had, swooped down on the French in Florida, 
killed them all, and built the fort of St. Augustine 
to guard the 'Mountains of Bright Stones' some- 
where in the hinterland. News of this slaughter 
soon arrived at Madrid, whence orders presently 
went out to have an eye on Hawkins, whom 
Spanish officials thenceforth regarded as the 
leading interloper in New Spain. 

Nevertheless Hawkins set out on his third and 
very 'troublesome' voyage in 1567, backed by 
all his old and many new supporters, and with a 
flotilla of six vessels, the Jesus, the Minion (which 
then meant darling), the William and John, the 
Judith, the Angel, and the Swallow. This was 
the voyage that began those twenty years of 
sea-dog fighting which rose to their zenith in the 
battle against the Armada; and with this voyage 
Drake himself steps on to the stage as captain of 
the Judith. 

There had been a hitch in 1566, for the Spanish 
ambassador had reported Hawkins's after-dinner 



HAWKINS AND THE FIGHTING TRADERS 87 

speech to his king. Philip had protested to Eliza- 
beth, and Elizabeth had consulted with Cecil, 
afterwards 'the great Lord Burleigh,' ancestor 
of the Marquis of Salisbury, British Prime 
Minister during the Spanish-American War of 
1898. The result was that orders went down to 
Plymouth stopping Hawkins and binding him 
over, in a bond of five hundred pounds, to keep 
the peace with Her Majesty's right good friend 
King Philip of Spain. But in 1567 times had 
changed again, and Hawkins sailed with colors 
flying, for Elizabeth was now as ready to hurt 
Philip as he was to hurt her, provided always 
that open war was carefully avoided. 

But this time things went wrong from the first. 
A tremendous autumnal storm scattered the ships. 
Then the first negroes that Hawkins tried to 
'snare' proved to be like that other kind of prey 
of which the sarcastic Frenchman wrote: 'This 
animal is very wicked; when you attack it, it 
defends itself.' The 'envenomed arrows' of 
the negroes worked the mischief. 'There hardly 
escaped any that had blood drawn of them, but 
died in strange sort, with their mouths shut some 
ten days before they died.' Hawkins himself 
was wounded, but, 'thanks be to God,' escaped 



88 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

the lockjaw. After this the EngHsh took sides 
in a native war and captured '250 persons, men, 
women, and children, ' while their friend the King 
captured '600 prisoners, whereof we hoped to 
have had our choice. But the negro, in which 
nation is seldom or never found truth, that night 
removed his camp and prisoners, so that we were 
fain to content ourselves with those few we had 
gotten ourselves. ' 

However, with 'between 400 and 500 negroes,* 
Hawkins crossed over from Africa to the West 
Indies and 'coasted from place to place, making 
our traffic with the Spaniards as we might, some- 
what hardly, because the King had straitly com- 
manded all his governors by no means to suffer 
any trade to be made with us. Notwithstanding, 
we had reasonable trade, and courteous enter- 
tainment' for a good part of the way. In Rio de 
la Hacha the Spaniards received the English 
with a volley that killed a couple of men, where- 
upon the English smashed in the gates, while the 
Spaniards retired. But, after this little bit of 
punctilio, trade went on under cover of night so 
briskly that two hundred negroes were sold 
at good prices. From there to Cartagena 
'the inhabitants were glad of us and traded 



HAWKINS AND THE FIGHTING TRADERS 89 

willingly, ' supply being short and demand extra 
high. 

Then came a real rebuff from the governor of 
Cartagena, followed by a terrific storm 'which so 
beat the Jesus that we cut down all her higher 
buildings' (deck superstructures). Then the 
course was shaped for Florida. But a new storm 
drove the battered flotilla back to 'the port which 
serveth the city of Mexico, called St. John de 
Ulua, ' the modern Vera Cruz. The historic Vera 
Cruz was fifteen miles north of this harbor. 
Here 'thinking us to be the fleet of Spain, the 
chief oflScers of the country came aboard us. 
Which, being deceived of their expectation, were 
greatly dismayed; but . . , when they saw our 
demand was nothing but victuals, were recom- 
forted. I [for it is Hawkins's own story] found in 
the same port 12 ships which had in them by 
report £200,000 in gold and silver, all which, 
being in my possession [i. e., at my mercy] with 
the King's Island ... I set at liberty. ' 

What was to be done? Hawkins had a hundred 
negroes still to sell. But it was four hundred 
miles to Mexico City and back again; and a new 
Spanish viceroy was aboard the big Spanish fleet 
that was daily expected to arrive in this very 



90 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

port. If a permit to sell came back from the 
capital in time, well and good. If no more than 
time to replenish stores was allowed, good enough, 
despite the loss of sales. But what if the Spanish 
fleet arrived.'' The 'King's Island' was a low 
little reef right in the mouth of the harbor, which 
it all but barred. Moreover, no vessel could 
live through a northerly gale inside the harbor 
— the only one on that coast — unless securely 
moored to the island itself. Consequently who- 
ever held the island commanded the situation 
altogether. 

There was not much time for consultation; 
for the very next morning 'we saw open of the 
haven 13 great ships, the fleet of Spain.' It was 
a terrible predicament. 'Now, said I, I am in 
two dangers, and forced to receive the one of them. 
. . . Either I must have kept out the fleet, which, 
with God's help, I was very well able to do, or 
else suffer them to enter with their accustomed 
treason. ... If I had kept them out, then 
there had been present shipwreck of all that fleet, 
which amounted in value to six millions, which 
was in value of our money £1,800,000, which I 
considered I was not able to answer, fearing the 
Queen's Majesty's indignation. , . . Thus with 



HAWKINS AND THE FIGHTING TRADERS 91 

myself revolving the doubts, I thought better to 
abide the jut of the uncertainty than of the cer- 
tainty.' So, after conditions had been agreed 
upon and hostages exchanged, the thirteen Span- 
ish ships sailed in. The little island remained in 
English hands; and the Spa;niards were profuse 
in promises. 

But, having secretly made their preparations, 
the Spaniards, who were in overwhelming numbers, 
suddenly set upon the English by land and sea. 
Every Englishman ashore was killed, except a 
few who got oflf in a boat to the Jesus. The Jesus 
and the Minion cut their headfasts, hauled clear 
by their sternfasts, drove back the boarding 
parties, and engaged the Spanish fleet at about a 
hundred yards. Within an hour the Spanish 
flagship and another were sunk, a third vessel 
was burning furiously, fore and aft, while every 
English deck was clear of enemies. But the 
Spaniards had swarmed on to the island from all 
sides and were firing into the English hulls at 
only a few feet from the cannon's mouth. Haw- 
kins was cool as ever. Calling for a tankard of 
beer he drank to the health of the gunners, who 
accounted for most of the five hundred and forty 
men killed on the Spanish side. 'Stand by your 



92 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

ordnance lustily,' he cried, as he put the tankard 
down and a round shot sent it flying. ' God hath 
delivered me,' he added, 'and so will He deliver 
you from these traitors and villains. ' 

The masts of the Jesus went by the board and 
her old, strained timbers splintered, loosened up, 
and were stove in under the storm of cannon 
balls. Hawkins then gave the order to abandon 
ship after taking out what stores they could and 
changing her berth so that she would shield the 
little Minion. But while this desperate manoeuvre 
was being executed down came two fire-ships. 
Some of the Minion's crew then lost their heads 
and made sail so quickly that Hawkins himself 
was nearly left behind. 

The only two English vessels that escaped were 
the Minion and the Judith. When nothing else 
was left to do, Hawkins shouted to Drake to lay 
the Judith aboard the Minion, take in all the men 
and stores he could, and put to sea. Drake, 
then only twenty-three, did this with consummate 
skill. Hawkins followed some time after and 
anchored just out of range. But Drake had 
already gained an offing that caused the two little 
vessels to part company in the night, during which 
a whole gale from the north sprang up, threatening 



HAWKINS AND THE FIGHTING TRADERS 93 

to put the Judith on a lee shore. Drake there- 
fore fought his way to windward; and, seeing no 
one when the gale abated, and having barely 
enough stores to make a friendly land, sailed 
straight home. Hawkins reported the Judith, 
without mentioning Drake's name, as 'forsaking' 
the Minion. But no other witness thought 
Drake to blame. 

Hawkins himself rode out the gale under the 
lee of a little island, then beat about for two weeks 
of increasing misery, when 'hides were thought 
very good meat, and rats, cats, mice, and dogs, 
parrots and monkeys that were got at great price, 
none escaped. ' The Minion was of three hundred 
tons; and so was insufferably overcrowded with 
three hundred men, two hundred English and one 
hundred negroes. Drake's little Judith, of only 
fifty tons, could have given no relief, as she was 
herself overfull. Hawkins asked all the men 
who preferred to take their chance on land to 
get round the foremast and all those who wanted 
to remain afloat to get round the mizzen. About 
a hundred chose one course and a hundred the 
other. The landing took place about a hundred 
and fifty miles south of the Rio Grande. The 
shore party nearly all died. But three lived to 



94 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

write of their adventures. David Ingram, fol- 
lowing Indian trails all round the GuH of Mexico 
and up the Atlantic seaboard, came out where 
St. John, New Brunswick, stands now, was picked 
up by a passing Frenchman, and so got safely 
home. Job Hortop and Miles Philips were caught 
by the Spaniards and sent back to Mexico. 
PhiUps escaped to England fourteen years later. 
But Hortop was sent to Spain, where he served 
twelve years as a galley-slave and ten as a servant 
before he contrived to get aboard an English 
vessel. 

The ten Spanish hostages were found safe and 
sound aboard the Jesus; though, by all the rules 
of war, Hawkins would have been amply justified 
in killing them. The English hostages were kept 
fast prisoners. 'If all the miseries of this sorrow- 
ful voyage,' says Hawkins's report, 'should be 
perfectly written, there should need a painful 
man with his pen, and as great a time as he had 
that wrote the lives and deaths of martyrs.' 

Thus, in complete disaster, ended that third 
voyage to New Spain on which so many hopes 
were set. And with this disastrous end began 
those twenty years of sea-dog rage which found 
their satisfaction against the Great Armada. 



CHAPTER VI 

drake's beginning 

We must now turn back for a moment to 1545, 
the year in which the Old World, after the 
discovery of the mines of Potosi, first awoke to 
the illimitable riches of the New; the year 
in which King Henry assembled his epoch- 
making fleet; the year, too, in which the British 
National Anthem was, so to say, born at sea, 
when the parole throughout the waiting fleet was 
God save the King! and the answering countersign 
was Long to reign over us I 

In the same year, at Crowndale by Tavistock 
in Devon, was born Francis Drake, greatest of 
sea-dogs and first of modern admirals. His 
father, Edmund Drake, was a skipper in modest 
circumstances. But from time immemorial there 
had been Drakes all round the countryside of 
Tavistock and the family name stood high. 
Francis was called after his godfather, Francis 

95 



96 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

Russell, son and heir of Henry's right-hand re- 
forming peer, Lord Russell, progenitor of the 
Dukes of Bedford down to the present day. 

Though fortune thus seemed to smile upon 
Drake's cradle, his boyhood proved to be a very 
stormy one indeed. He was not yet five when the 
Protestant zeal of the Lord Protector Somerset 
stirred the Roman Catholics of the West Country 
into an insurrection that swept the anti-Papal 
minority before it like flotsam before a flood. 
Drake's father was a zealous Protestant, a 'hot 
gospeller,' much given to preaching; and when he 
was cast up by the storm on what is now Drake's 
Island, just off Plymouth, he was glad to take 
passage for Kent. His friends at court then 
made him a sort of naval chaplain to the men who 
took care of His Majesty's ships laid up in Gilling- 
ham Reach on the River Medway, just below 
where Chatham Dockyard stands to-day. Here, 
in a vessel too old for service, most of Drake's 
eleven brothers were born to a life as nearly 
amphibious as the life of any boy could be. The 
tide runs in with a rush from the sea at Sheerness, 
only ten miles away; and so, among the creeks 
and marshes, points and bends, through tortuous 
channels and hurrying waters lashed by the keen 



DRAKE'S BEGINNING 97 

east wind of England, Drake reveled in the kind of 
playground that a sea-dog's son should have. 

During the reign of Mary (1553-58) 'hot gos- 
pellers' like Drake's father were of course turned 
out of the Service. And so young Francis had 
to be apprenticed to 'the master of a bark, which 
he used to coast along the shore, and sometimes 
to carry merchandise into Zeeland and France.' 
It was hard work and a rough life for the little 
lad of ten. But Drake stuck to it, and ' so pleased 
the old man by his industry that, being a bachelor, 
at his death he bequeathed his bark unto him by 
will and testament. ' Moreover, after Elizabeth's 
accession, Drake's father came into his own. He 
took orders in the Church of England, and in 
1561, when Francis was sixteen, became vicar 
of Upchurch on the Medway, the same river on 
which his boys had learned to live amphibious 
lives. 

No dreams of any Golden West had Drake 
as yet. To the boy in his teens Westward Ho! 
meant nothing more than the usual cry of Lon- 
don boatmen touting for fares up-stream. But, 
before he went out with Sir John Hawkins, on 
the 'troublesome' voyage which we have just 
followed, he must have had a foretaste of some- 



98 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

thing like his future raiding of the Spanish Main; 
for the Channel swarmed with Protestant priva- 
teers, no gentler, when they caught a Spaniard, 
than Spaniards were when they caught them. 
He was twenty-two when he went out with Haw- 
kins and would be in his twenty-fourth year when 
he returned to England in the little Judith after 
the murderous Spanish treachery at San Juan de 
Ulua. 

Just as the winter night was closing in, on the 
20th of January, 1569, the Judith sailed into Ply- 
mouth. Drake landed. William Hawkins, John's 
brother, wrote a petition to the Queen-in-Council 
for letters-of-marque in reprisal for Ulua, and 
Drake dashed off for London with the missive 
almost before the ink was dry. Now it happened 
that a Spanish treasure fleet, carrying money 
from Italy and bound for Antwerp, had been 
driven into Plymouth and neighboring ports by 
Huguenot privateers. This money was urgently 
needed by Alva, the very capable but ruthless 
governor of the Spanish Netherlands, who, having 
just drowned the rebellious Dutch in blood, was 
now erecting a colossal statue to himself for 
having ' extinguished sedition, chastised rebellion, 



DRAKE'S BEGINNING 99 

restored religion, secured justice, and established 
peace.' The Spanish ambassador therefore ob- 
tained leave to bring it overland to Dover. 

But no sooner had Elizabeth signed the order 
of safe conduct than in came Drake with the news 
of San Juan de Ulua. Elizabeth at once saw that 
all the English sea-dogs would be flaming for 
revenge. Everyone saw that the treasure would 
be safer now in England than aboard any Spanish 
vessel in the Channel. So, on the ground that 
the gold, though payable to Philip's representa- 
tive in Antwerp, was still the property of the 
Italian bankers who advanced it, Elizabeth sent 
orders down post-haste to commandeer it. The 
enraged ambassador advised Alva to seize every- 
thing English in the Netherlands. Elizabeth in 
turn seized everything Spanish in England. 
Elizabeth now held the diplomatic trumps; for 
existing treaties provided that there should be 
no reprisals without a reasonable delay; and 
Alva had seized English property before giving 
Elizabeth the customary time to explain. 

John Hawkins entered Plymouth five days 
later than Drake and started for London with 
four pack horses carrying all he had saved from 
the wreck. By the irony of fate he travelled up 



100 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

to town in the rear of the long procession that 
carried the commandeered Spanish gold. 

The plot thickened fast; for England was now 
on the brink of war with France over the secret 
aid Englishmen had been giving to the Huguenots 
at La Rochelle. But suddenly Elizabeth was 
all smiles and affability for France. And when 
her two great merchant fleets put out to sea, one, 
the wine-fleet, bound for La Rochelle, went with 
only a small naval escort, just enough to keep 
the pirates oflF; while the other, the big wool- 
fleet, usually sent to Antwerp but now bound for 
Hamburg, went with a strong fighting escort of 
regular men-of-war. 

Aboard this escort went Francis Drake as a 
lieutenant in the Royal Navy. Home in June, 
Drake ran down to Tavistock in Devon; wooed, 
won, and married pretty Mary Newman, all 
within a month. He was back on duty in July. 

For the time being the war cloud passed away. 
Elizabeth's tortuous diplomacy had succeeded, 
owing to dissension among her enemies. In the 
following year (1570) the international situation 
was changed by the Pope, who issued a bull 
formally deposing Elizabeth and absolving her 
subjects from their allegiance to her. The French 



DRAKE'S BEGINNING 101 

and Spanish monarchs refused to publish this 
order because they did not approve of deposition 
by the Pope. But, for all that, it worked against 
Elizabeth by making her the official standing 
enemy of Rome. At the same time it worked 
for her among the sea-dogs and all who thought 
with them. 'The case,' said Thomas Fuller, 
author of The Worthies of England, 'the case was 
clear in sea divinitie." Religious zeal and com- 
mercial enterprise went hand in hand. The case 
was clear; and the English navy, now mobilized 
and ready for war, made it much clearer still. 

Westward Ho ! in chief command, at the age of 
twenty-five, with the tiny flotilla of the Dragon 
and the Swan, manned by as good a lot of dare- 
devil experts as any privateer could wish to see! 
Out and back in 1570, and again in 1571, Drake 
took reprisals on New Spain, made money for 
all hands engaged, and gained a knowledge of 
the American coast that stood him in good stead 
for future expeditions. 

It was 1572 when Drake, at the age of twenty- 
seven, sailed out of Plymouth on the Nombre de 
Dios expedition that brought him into fame. 
He led a Lilliputian fleet: the Pascha and the 



102 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

Swan, a hundred tons between them, with seventy- 
three men, all ranks and ratings, aboard of them. 
But both vessels were 'richly furnished with vic- 
tuals and apparels for a whole year, and no less 
heedfuUy provided with all manner of ammunition, 
artillery [which then meant every kind of firearm 
as well as cannon], artificers' stuff and tools; but 
especially three dainty pinnaces made in Ply- 
mouth, taken asunder all in pieces,' and stowed 
aboard to be set up as occasion served. 

Without once striking sail Drake made the 
channel between Dominica and Martinique in 
twenty-five days and arrived off a previously 
chosen secret harbor on the Spanish Main towards 
the end of July. To his intense surprise a column 
of smoke was rising from it, though there was no 
settlement within a hundred miles. On landing 
he found a leaden plate with this inscription: 
'Captain Drake! If you fortune to come to this 
Port, make hast away! For the Spaniards which 
you had with you here, the last year, have be- 
wrayed the place and taken away all that you 
left here. I depart hence, this present 7th of 
July, 1572. Your very loving friend, John 
Garrett. ' That was fourteen days before. Drake, 
however, was determined to carry out his plan. 



DRAKE'S BEGINNING 103 

So he built a fort and set up his pinnaces. But 
others had now found the secret harbor; for in 
came three sail under Ranse, an Englishman, 
who asked that he be taken into partnership, 
which was done. 

Then the combined forces, not much over a 
hundred strong, stole out and along the coast to 
the Isle of Pines, where again Drake found him- 
self forestalled. From the negro crews of two 
Spanish vessels he discovered that, only six weeks 
earlier, the Maroons had annihilated a Spanish 
force on the Isthmus and nearly taken Nombre de 
Dios itself. These Maroons were the descendants 
of escaped negro slaves intermarried with the most 
warlike of the Indians. They were regular desper- 
adoes, always, and naturally, at war with the 
Spaniards, who treated them as vermin to be 
killed at sight. Drake put the captured negroes 
ashore to join the Maroons, with whom he 
always made friends. Then with seventy-three 
picked men he made his dash for Nombre de 
Dios, leaving the rest under Ranse to guard the 
base. 

Nombre de Dios was the Atlantic terminus, as 
Panama was the Pacific terminus, of the treasure 
trail across the Isthmus of Darien. The Spaniards, 



104 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

knowing nothing of Cape Horn, and unable to face 
the appalhng dangers of Magellan's straits, used 
to bring the Peruvian treasure ships to Panama, 
whence the treasure was taken across the isthmus 
to Nombre de Dios by recuas, that is, by mule 
trains under escort. 

At evening Drake's vessel stood off the harbor 
of Nombre de Dios and stealthily approached 
unseen. It was planned to make the landing in 
the morning. A long and nerve-racking wait 
ensued. As the hours dragged on, Drake felt 
instinctively that his younger men were getting 
demoralized. They began to whisper about the 
size of the town — ' as big as Plymouth ' — with 
perhaps a whole battalion of the famous Spanish 
infantry, and so on. It wanted an hour of the 
first real streak of dawn. But just then the old 
moon sent a ray of light quivering in on the tide. 
Drake instantly announced the dawn, issued the 
orders: 'Shove off, out oars, give way!' Inside 
the bay a ship just arrived from sea was picking 
up her moorings. A boat left her side and pulled 
like mad for the wharf. But Drake's men raced 
the Spaniards, beat them, and made them sheer 
off to a landing some way beyond the town. 

Springing eagerly ashore the Englishmen 



DRAKE'S BEGINNING 105 

tumbled the Spanish guns off their platforms 
while the astonished sentry ran for dear life. In 
five minutes the church bells were pealing out 
their wild alarms, trumpet calls were sounding, 
drums were beating round the general parade, 
and the civilians of the place, expecting massacre 
at the hands of the Maroons, were rushing about 
in agonized confusion. Drake's men fell in — 
they were all well-drilled — and were quickly 
told off into three detachments. The largest 
under Drake, the next under Oxenham — the 
hero of Kingsley's Westioard Ho ! — and the third, 
of twelve men only, to guard the pinnaces. Hav- 
ing found that the new fort on the hill command- 
ing the town was not yet occupied, Drake and 
Oxenham marched against the town at the head 
of their sixty men, Oxenham by a flank, Drake 
straight up the main street, each with a trumpet 
sounding, a drum rolling, fire-pikes blazing, swords 
flashing, and all ranks yelling like fiends. Drake 
was only of medium stature. But he had the 
strength of a giant, the pluck of a bulldog, the 
spring of a tiger, and the cut of a man that is 
born to command. Broad-browed, with steel- 
blue eyes and close-cropped auburn hair and 
beard, he was all kindliness of countenance to 



106 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

friends, but a very 'Dragon' to his Spanish 
foes. 

As Drake's men reached the Plaza, his trumpeter 
blew one blast of defiance and then fell dead. 
Drake returned the Spanish volley and charged 
immediately, the drummer beating furiously, 
pikes levelled, and swords brandished. The 
Spaniards did not wait for him to close; for Oxen- 
ham's party, fire-pikes blazing, were taking them 
in flank. Out went the Spaniards through the 
Panama gate, with screaming townsfolk scurrying 
before them. Bang went the gate, now under 
English guard, as Drake made for the Governor's 
house. There lay a pile of silver bars such as 
his men had never dreamt of: in all, about four 
hundred tons of silver ready for the homeward 
fleet — enough not only to fill but sink the Pascha, 
Swan, and pinnaces. But silver was then no 
more to Drake than it was once to Solomon. 
What he wanted were the diamonds and pearls 
and gold, which were stored, he learned, in the 
King's Treasure House beside the bay. 

A terrific storm now burst. The fire-pikes and 
arquebuses had to be taken under cover. The 
wall of the King's Treasure House defied all 
efforts to breach it. And the Spaniards who had 



DRAKE'S BEGINNING 107 

been shut into the town, discovering how few the 
EngHsh were, reformed for attack. Some of 
Drake's men began to lose heart. But in a 
moment he stepped to the front and ordered 
Oxenham to go round and smash in the Treasure 
House gate while he held the Plaza himself. 
Just as the men stepped off, however, he reeled 
aside and fell. He had fainted from loss of blood 
caused by a wound he had managed to conceal. 
There was no holding the men now. They gave 
him a cordial, after which he bound up his leg, 
for he was a first-rate surgeon, and repeated his 
orders as before. But there were a good many 
wounded; and, with Drake no longer able to 
lead, the rest all begged to go back. So back to 
their boats they went, and over to the Bastimen- 
tos or Victualling Islands, which contained the 
gardens and poultry runs of the Nombre de Dios 
citizens. 

Here they were visited, under a flag of truce, 
by the Spanish officer commanding the reinforce- 
ment just sent across from Panama. He was all 
politeness, airs, and graces, while trying to ferret 
out the secret of their real strength. Drake, 
however, was not to be outdone either in diplo- 
macy or war; and a delightful little comedy of 



108 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

prying and veiling courtesies was played out, 
to the great amusement of the English sea-dogs. 
Finally, when the time agreed upon was up, the 
Spanish officer departed, pouring forth a stream of 
high-flown compliments, which Drake, who was a 
Spanish scholar, answered with the like. Waving 
each other a ceremonious adieu the two leaders 
were left no wiser than before. 

Nombre de Dios, now strongly reinforced and 
on its guard, was not an easy nut to crack. But 
Panama.'' Panama meant a risky march inland 
and a still riskier return by the regular treasure 
trail. But with the help of the Maroons, who 
knew the furtive byways to a foot, the thing 
might yet be done. Ranse thought the game not 
worth the candle and retired from the partnership, 
much to Drake's delight. 

A good preliminary stroke was made by raid- 
ing Cartagena. Here Drake found a frigate de- 
serted by its crew, who had gone ashore to see 
fair play in a duel fought about a seaman's mis- 
tress. The old man left in charge confessed that 
a Seville ship was round the point. Drake cut 
her out at once, in spite of being fired at from the 
shore. Next, in came two more Spanish sail to 
warn Cartagena that 'Captain Drake has been 



DRAKE'S BEGINNING 109 

at Nombre de Dios and taken it, and if a blest 
bullet hadn't hit him in the leg he would have 
sacked it too. ' 

Cartagena, however, was up in arms already; 
so Drake put all his prisoners ashore unhurt and 
retired to reconsider his position, leaving Diego, 
a negro fugitive from Nombre de Dios, to muster 
the Maroons for a raid overland to Panama. 
Then Drake, who sank the Swan and burnt his 
prizes because he had only men enough for the 
Pascha and the pinnaces, disappeared into a new 
secret harbor. But his troubles were only be- 
ginning; for word came that the Maroons said 
that nothing could be done inland till the rains 
were over, five months hence. This meant a 
long wait; however, what with making supply 
depots and picking up prizes here and there, the 
wet time might pass off well enough. 

One day Oxenham's crew nearly mutinied over 
the shortness of provisions. 'Have ye not as 
much as I, ' Drake called to them, ' and has God's 
Providence ever failed us yet?' Within an hour 
a Spanish vessel hove in sight, making such very 
heavy weather of it that boarding her was out of 
the question. But 'We spent not two hours in 
attendance till it pleased God to send us a reason- 



110 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

able calm, so that we might use our guns and 
approach her at pleasure. We found her laden 
with victuals, which we received as sent of God's 
great mercy.' Then 'Yellow Jack' broke out, 
and the men began to fall sick and die. The 
company consisted of seventy-three men; and 
twenty-eight of these perished of the fever, 
among them the surgeon himself and Drake's 
own brother. 

But on the 3d of February, 1573, Drake was 
ready for the dash on Panama. Leaving behind 
about twenty-five men to guard the base, he began 
the overland march with a company of fifty, all 
told, of whom thirty-one were picked Maroons. 
The fourth day out Drake climbed a forest giant 
on the top of the Divide, saw the Atlantic behind 
him and the Pacific far in front, and vowed that 
if he lived he would sail an English ship over the 
great South Sea. Two days more and the party 
left the protecting forest for the rolling pampas 
where the risk of being seen increased at every 
step. Another day's march and Panama was 
sighted as they topped the crest of one of the 
bigger waves of ground. A clever Maroon went 
ahead to spy out the situation and returned to 
say that two recuas would leave at dusk, one 



DRAKE'S BEGINNING 111 

coming from Venta Cruz, fifteen miles northwest 
of Panama, carrying silver and supplies, and the 
other from Panama, loaded with jewels and gold. 
Then a Spanish sentry was caught asleep by the 
advanced party of Maroons, who smelt him out 
by the match of his fire-lock. In his gratitude 
for being protected from the Maroons, this man 
confirmed the previous information. 

The excitement now was most intense; for the 
crowning triumph of a two-years' great adven- 
ture was at last within striking distance of the 
English crew. Drake drew them up in proper 
order; and every man took off his shirt and put 
it on again outside his coat, so that each would 
recognize the others in the night attack. Then 
they lay listening for the mule-bells, till presently 
the warning tinkle let them know that recuas 
were approaching from both Venta Cruz and 
Panama. The first, or silver train from Venta 
Cruz, was to pass in silence; only the second, 
or gold train from Panama, was to be attacked. 
Unluckily one of the Englishmen had been secretly 
taking pulls at his flask and had just become pot- 
valiant when a stray Spanish gentleman came 
riding up from Venta Cruz. The Englishman 
sprang to his feet, swayed about, was tripped up 



112 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

by Maroons and promptly sat upon. But the 
Spaniard saw his shirt, reined up, whipped round, 
and galloped back to Panama. This took place 
so silently at the extreme flank in towards Panama 
that it was not observed by Drake or any other 
Englishman. Presently what appeared to be 
the gold train came within range. Drake blew 
his whistle; and all set on with glee, only to find 
that the Panama recua they were attacking was 
a decoy sent on to spring the trap and that the 
gold and jewels had been stopped. 

The Spaniards were up in arms. But Drake 
slipped away through the engulfing forest and 
came out on the Atlantic side, where he found his 
rear-guard intact and eager for further exploits. 
He was met by Captain Tetu, a Huguenot just 
out from France, with seventy men. Tetu gave 
Drake news of the Massacre of St. Bartholomew, 
and this drew the French and English Protestants 
together. They agreed to engage in further 
raiding of Spaniards, share and share alike by 
nationalities, though Drake had now only thirty- 
one men against Tetu's seventy. Nombre de 
Dios, they decided, was not vulnerable, as all 
the available Spanish forces were concentrated 
there for its defence, and so they planned to seize 



DRAKE'S BEGINNING 113 

a Spanish train of gold and jewels just far enough 
inland to give them time to get away with the 
plunder before the garrison could reach them. 
Somewhere on the coast they established a base 
of operations and then marched overland to the 
Panama trail and lay in wait. 

This time the marauders were successful. 
When the Spanish train of gold and jewels came 
opposite the ambush, Drake's whistle blew. The 
leading mules were stopped. The rest lay down, 
as mule-trains will. The guard was overpowered 
after killing a Maroon and wounding Captain 
Tetu. And when the garrison of Nombre de 
Dios arrived a few hours later the gold and jewels 
had all gone. 

For a day and a night and another day Drake 
and his men pushed on, loaded with plunder, back 
to their rendezvous along the coast, leaving Tetu 
and two of his devoted Frenchmen to be rescued 
later. When they arrived, worn out, at the ren- 
dezvous, not a man was in sight. Drake built a 
raft out of unhewn tree trunks and, setting up a 
biscuit bag as a sail, pushed out with two French- 
men and one Englishman till he found his boats. 
The plunder was then divided up between the 
French and the English, while Oxenham headed 



114 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

a rescue party to bring Tetu to the coast. One 
Frenchman was found. But Tetu and the other 
had been caught by Spaniards. 

The Pascha was given to the accumulated Span- 
ish prisoners to sail away in. The pinnaces were 
kept till a suitable, smart-sailing Spanish craft 
was found, boarded, and captured to replace them; 
whereupon they were broken up and their metal 
given to the Maroons. Then, in two frigates, 
with ballast of silver and cargo of jewels and gold, 
the thirty survivors of the adventure set sail for 
home. 'Within 23 days we passed from the Cape 
of Florida to the Isles of Scilly, and so arrived 
at Plymouth on Sunday about sermon time, 
August 9, 1573, at what time the news of our 
Captain's return, brought unto his friends, did 
so speedily pass over all the church, and surpass 
their minds with desire to see him, that very few 
or none remained with the preacher, all hasten- 
ing to see the evidence of God's love and blessing 
towards our Gracious Queen and country, by the 
fruit of our Captain's labour and success. Soli 
Deo Gloria.' 



CHAPTER VII 

drake's * encompassment of all the world e' 

When Drake left for Nombre de Dios in the 
spring of 1572, Spain and England were both 
ready to fly at each other's throats. When he 
came back in the summer of 1573, they were 
all for making friends — hypocritically so, but 
friends. Drake's plunder stank in the nostrils 
of the haughty Dons. It was a very inconvenient 
factor in the diplomatic problem for Elizabeth. 
Therefore Drake disappeared and his plunder 
too. He went to Ireland on service in the navy. 
His plunder was divided up in secrecy among all 
the high and low contracting parties. 

In 1574 the Anglo-Spanish scene had changed 
again. The Spaniards had been so harassed by 
the English sea-dogs between the Netherlands 
and Spain that Philip listened to his great admiral, 
Menendez, who, despairing of direct attack on 
England, proposed to seize the Scilly Isles and 

115 



116 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

from that naval base clear out a way through all 
the pirates of the English Channel. War seemed 
certain. But a terrible epidemic broke out in 
the Spanish fleet. Menendez died. And Philip 
changed his policy again. 

This same year John Oxenham, Drake's old 
second-in-command, sailed over to his death. 
The Spaniards caught him on the Isthmus of 
Darien and hanged him as a pirate at Lima in 
Peru. 

In the autumn of 1575 Drake returned to Eng- 
land with a new friend, Thomas Doughty, a 
soldier-scholar of the Renaissance, clever and 
good company, but one of those 'Italianate' Eng- 
lishmen who gave rise to the Italian proverb: 
Inglese italianato e diavolo incarnato — ' an Italian- 
ized Englishman is the very Devil.' Doughty 
was patronized by the Earl of Essex, who had 
great influence at court. 

The next year, 1576, is noted for the 'Spanish 
Fury. ' Philip's sea power was so hampered by the 
Dutch and English privateers, and he was so im- 
potent against the English navy, that he could get 
no ready money, either by loan or from America, 
to pay his troops in Antwerp. These men, re- 
inforced by others, therefore mutinied and sacked 



' ENCOMPASSMENT OF ALL THE WORLDE ' 117 

the whole of Antwerp, killing all who opposed 
them and practically ruining the city from which 
Charles V used to draw such splendid subsidies. 
The result was a strengthening of Dutch resistance 
everywhere. 

Elizabeth had been unusually tortuous in her 
policy about this time. But in 1577 she was 
ready for another shot at Spain, provided always 
that it entailed no open war. Don John of 
Austria, natural son of Charles V, had all the shin- 
ing qualities that his legitimate half-brother Philip 
lacked. He was the hero of Lepanto and had 
offered to conquer the Moors in Tunis if Philip 
would let him rule as king. Philip, crafty, cold, 
and jealous, of course refused and sent him to the 
Netherlands instead. Here Don John formed 
the still more aspiring plan of pacifying the Dutch, 
marrying Mary Queen of Scots, deposing Eliza- 
beth, and reigning over all the British Isles. The 
Pope had blessed both schemes. But the Dutch 
insisted on the immediate withdrawal of the 
Spanish troops. This demolished Don John's 
plan. But it pleased Philip, who could now ruin 
his brilliant brother by letting him wear himself 
out by trying to govern the Netherlands without 
an army. Then the Duke of Anjou, brother to 



118 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

the King of France, came into the fast-thickening 
plot at the head of the French rescuers of the 
Netherlands from Spain. But a victorious French 
army in the Netherlands was worse for England 
than even Spanish rule there. So Elizabeth tried 
to support the Dutch enough to anijoy Philip 
and at the same time keep them independent of 
the French. 

In her desire to support them against Philip 
indirectly she found it convenient to call Drake 
into consultation. Drake then presented to Sir 
Francis Walsingham his letter of commendation 
from the Earl of Essex, under whom he had served 
in Ireland; whereupon 'Secretary Walsingham [the 
first civilian who ever grasped the principle of 
modern sea power] declared that Her Majesty 
had received divers injuries of the King of Spain, 
for which she desired revenge. He showed me 
a plot [map] willing me to note down where he 
might be most annoyed. But I refused to set 
my hand to anything, affirming that Her Majesty 
was mortal, and that if it should please God to 
take Her Majesty away that some prince might 
reign that might be in league with the King of 
Spain, and then would my own hand be a witness 
against myself.' Elizabeth was forty-four. Mary 



' ENCOMPASSMENT OF ALL THE WORLDE '119 

Queen of Scots was watching for the throne. 
Plots and counter-plots were everywhere. 

Shortly after this interview Drake was told 
late at night that he should have audience of Her 
Majesty next day. On seeing him, Elizabeth 
went straight to the point. 'Drake, I would 
gladly be revenged on the King of Spain for divers 
injuries that I have received.' 'And withal,' 
says Drake, 'craved my advice therein; who told 
Her Majesty the only way was to annoy him by 
the Indies.' On that he disclosed his whole 
daring scheme for raiding the Pacific. Elizabeth, 
who, like her father, 'loved a man' who was a 
man, fell in with this at once. Secrecy was of 
course essential. 'Her Majesty did swear by 
her Crown that if any within her realm did give 
the King of Spain to understand hereof they 
should lose their heads therefor.' At a subse- 
quent audience 'Her Majesty gave me special 
commandment tha.t of all men my Lord Treasurer 
should not know of it.' The cautious Lord 
Treasurer Burleigh was against what he con- 
sidered dangerous forms of privateering and was 
for keeping on good terms with Spanish arms and 
trade as long as possible. Mendoza, lynx-eyed 
ambassador of Spain, was hoodwinked. But 



120 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

Doughty, the viper in Drake's bosom, was medi- 
tating mischief: not exactly treason with Spain, 
but at least a breach of confidence by telling 
Burleigh. 

De Guaras, chief Spanish spy in England, was 
sorely puzzled. Drake's ostensible destination 
was Egypt, and his men were openly enlisted for 
Alexandria. The Spaniards, however, saw far 
enough through this to suppose that he was really 
going back to Nombre de Dios. It did not seem 
likely, though quite possible, that he was going 
in search of the Northwest Passage, for Martin 
Frobisher had gone out on that quest the year 
before and had returned with a lump of black 
stone from the arctic desolation of Baffin Island. 
No one seems to have divined the truth. Cape 
Horn was unknown. The Strait of Magellan 
was supposed to be the only opening between 
South America and a huge antarctic continent, 
and its reputation for disasters had grown so ter- 
rible, and rightly terrible, that it had been given 
up as the way into the Pacific. The Spanish way, 
as we have seen, was overland from Nombre de 
Dios to Panama, more or less along the line of 
the modern Panama Canal. 

In the end Drake got away quietly enough, 



' ENCOMPASSMENT OF ALL THE WORLDE ' 121 

on the 15th of November, 1577. The court and 
country were in great excitement over the con- 
spiracy between the Spaniards and Mary Queen 
of Scots, now a prisoner of nine years' standing. 

'The famous voyage of sir francis drake 
into the South Sea, and therehence about the whole 
Globe of the Earth, begun in the year of our Lord 
1577' well deserves its great renown. Drake's, 
flotilla seems absurdly small. But, for its own time, 
it was far from insignificant; and it was exceed- 
ingly well found. The Pelican, afterwards called 
the Golden Hind, though his flagship, was of only 
a hundred tons. The Elizabeth, the Swan, the 
Marigold, and the Benedict were of eighty, fifty, 
thirty, and fifteen. There were altogether less 
than three hundred tons and two hundred men. 
The crews numbered a hundred and fifty. The 
rest were gentlemen-adventurers, special artificers, 
two trained surveyors, musicians, boys, and 
Drake's own page. Jack Drake. There was 
'great store of wild-fire, chain-shot, harquebusses, 
pistols, corslets, bows and other like weapons in 
great abundance. Neither had he omitted to 
make provision for ornament and delight, carry- 
ing with him expert musicians, rich furniture 



122 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

(all the vessels for his table, yea, many belonging 
even to the cook-room, being of pure silver), 
and divers shows of all sorts of curious workman- 
ship whereby the civility and magnificence of 
his native country might amongst all nations 
withersoever he should come, be the more admired.' ' 

' The little handbook issued by Pette and Jackman in 1580, for 
those whom we should now call commercial travellers, is full of 
'tips' about ' Thinges to be carried with you, whereof more or 
lesse is to be carried for a shewe of our commodities to bee made.' 
For instance: — 'Kersies of all orient coulours, specially of stamel 
[fine worsted], brode cloth of orient coulours also. Taffeta hats. 
Deepe cappes for mariners. Quilted Cappes of Levant Taffeta of 
divers coulours, for the night. Garters of Silke. Girdels of Buffe 
and all leathers, with gilt and ungilt Buckles, specially wast girdels. 
Wast girdels of velvet. Gloves of all sortes, knit and of leather. 
Gloves perfumed. Shooes of Spanish leather, of divers colours. 
Looking glasses for Women, great and fayre. Comes of Ivorie. 
Handkerchewes, with silk of divers colours, wrought. Glasen eyes 
to ride with against dust [so motor goggles are not so new, after all!]. 
Boxes with weightes of golde, and every kind of coyne of golde, to 
shewe that the people here use weight and measure, which is a cer- 
tayne showe of wisedome, and of a certayne government settled here. ' 

There are also elaborate directions about what to take 'For 
banketing on shipborde of persons of credite' [and prospective cus- 
tomers]. 'First, the sweetest perfumes to set under hatches to make 
the place smell sweete against their coming aborde. Marmelade. 
Sucket [candies]. Figges barrelled. Raisins of the Sun. Comfets 
that shall not dissolve. Prunes damaske. Dried peres. Walnuttes. 
Almondes. Olives, to make them taste their wine. The Apple 
John that dureth two yeares, to make showe of our fruites. Hul- 
locke [a sweet wine]. Sacke. Vials of good sweet waters, and casting- 
bottels of glass, to besprinckel the gests withal, after their coming 
aborde. The sweet oyle of Zante and excellent French vinegar and 
a fine kind of Bisket steeped in the same do make a banketting dishe. 



♦ ENCOMPASSMENT OF ALL THE WORLDE ' 123 

Sou'sou'west went Drake's flotilla and made 
its landfall 'towards the Pole Antartick' off the 
'Land of Devils' in 31° 40' south, northeast of 
Montevideo. Frightful storms had buffeted the 
little ships about for weary weeks together, and 
all hands thought they were the victims of some 
magician on board, perhaps the 'Italianate' 
Doughty, or else of native witchcraft from the 
shore. The experienced old pilot, who was a 
Portuguese, explained that the natives had sold 
themselves to Devils, who were kinder masters 
than the Spaniards, and that 'now when they 
see ships they cast sand into the air, whereof 
ariseth a most gross thick fogg and palpable 

and a little Sugar cast in it cooleth and comforteth, and refresheth 
the spirittes of man. Synomomme Water and Imperiall Water is 
to be had with you to comfort your sicke in the voyage. ' 

No feature is neglected. ' Take with you the large mappe of Lon- 
don and let the river be drawn full of shippes to make the more 
showe of your great trade. The booke of the Attyre of All Nations 
carried with you and bestowed in gift would be much esteemed. 
Tinder boxes, with steel, flint, and matches. A painted Bellowes, 
for perhaps they have not the use of them. All manner of edge 
tools. Note specially what dyeing they use.' After many more 
items the authors end up with two bits of good advice. 'Take with 
you those things that bee in the Perfection of Goodnesse to make 
your commodities in credit in time to come.' 'Learn what the 
Country hath before you offer your commodities for sale; for if you 
bring thither what you yourself desire to lade yourself home with, 
you must not sell yours deare lest hereafter you purchase theirs not 
so cheape as you would.' 



124 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

darkness, and withal horrible, fearful, and intoler- 
able winds, rains, and storms. ' 

But witchcraft was not Thomas Doughty's 
real offence. Even before leaving England, and 
after betraying Elizabeth and Drake to Burleigh, 
who wished to curry favor with the Spanish 
traders rather than provoke the Spanish power, 
Doughty was busy tampering with the men. 
A storekeeper had to be sent back for peculation 
designed to curtail Drake's range of action. Then 
Doughty tempted officers and men: talked up the 
terrors of Magellan's Strait, ran down his friend's 
authority, and finally tried to encourage down- 
right desertion by underhand means. This was 
too much for Drake. Doughty was arrested, tied 
to the mast, and threatened with dire punishment 
if he did not mend his ways. But he would not 
mend his ways. He had a brother on board and 
a friend, a 'very craftie lawyer'; so stern meas- 
ures were soon required. Drake held a sort of 
court-martial which condemned Doughty to death. 
Then Doughty, having played his last card and 
lost, determined to die 'like an officer and gentle- 
man.' 

Drake solemnly 'pronounced him the child of 
Death and persuaded him that he would by these 



• ENCOMPASSMENT OF ALL THE WOELDE ' 125 

means make him the servant of God.' Doughty 
fell in with the idea and the former friends took the 
Sacrament together, 'for which Master Doughty 
gave him hearty thanks, never otherwise terming 
him than "My good Captaine." ' Chaplain 
Fletcher having ended with the absolution, Drake 
and Doughty sat down together 'as cheerfully 
as ever in their lives, each cheering up the other 
and taking their leave by drinking to each other, 
as if some journey had been in hand.' Then 
Drake and Doughty went aside for a private 
conversation of which no record has remained. 
After this Doughty walked to the place of execu- 
tion, where, like King Charles I, 

He nothing common did or mean 
Upon that memorable scene. 

'And so bidding the whole company farewell he 
laid his head on the block.' 'Lo! this is the end 
of traitors!' said Drake as the executioner raised 
the head aloft. 

Drake, like Magellan, decided to winter where 
he was, in Port St. Julian on the east coast of 
Patagonia. His troubles with the men were not 
yet over; for the soldiers resented being put on 



126 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

an equality with the sailors, and the 'very craftie 
lawyer' and Doughty's brother were anything 
but pleased with the turn events had taken. 
Then, again, the faint-hearts murmured in their 
storm-beaten tents against the horrors of the 
awful Straits. So Drake resolved to make things 
clear for good and all. Unfolding a document 
he began: 'My Masters, I am a very bad orator, 
for my bringing up hath not been in learning, 
but what I shall speak here let every man take good 
notice of and let him write it down; for I will 
speak nothing but I will answer it in England, 
yea, and before Her Majesty, and I have it here 
already set down.' Then, after reminding them 
of the great adventure before them and saying 
that mutiny and dissension must stop at once, 
he went on: 'For by the life of God it doth even 
take my wits from me to think of it. Here is 
such controversy between the gentlemen and 
sailors that it doth make me mad to hear it. 
I must have the gentleman to haul with the 
mariner and the mariner with the gentleman. I 
would know him that would refuse to set his 
hand to a rope! But I know there is not any such 
here.' To those whose hearts failed them he 
offered the Marigold. ' But let them go homeward ; 



' ENCOMPASSMENT OF ALL THE WORLDE ' 127 

for if I find them in my way, I will surely sink 
them.' Not a man stepped forward. Then, 
turning to the officers, he discharged every one 
of them for re-appointment at his pleasure. 
Next, he made the worst offenders, the 'craftie 
lawyer' included, step to the front for reprimand. 
Finally, producing the Queen's commission, he 
ended by a ringing appeal to their united patriot- 
ism. 'We have set by the ears three mighty 
Princes [the sovereigns of England, Spain, and 
Portugal]; and if this voyage should not have 
success we should not only be a scorning unto 
our enemies but a blot on our country for ever. 
What triumph would it not be for Spain and Por- 
tugal! The like of this would never more be 
tried.' Then he gave back every man his rank 
again, explaining that he and they were all ser- 
vants of Her Majesty together. With this the men 
marched off, loyal and obedient, to their tents. 

Next week Drake sailed for the much dreaded 
Straits, before entering which he changed the 
Pelican's name to the Golden Hind, which was the 
crest of Sir Christopher Hatton, one of the chief pro- 
moters of the enterprise and also one of Doughty's 
patrons. Then every vessel struck her topsail 
to the bunt in honor of the Queen as well as to 



128 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

show that all discoveries and captures were to 
be made in her sole name. Seventeen days of 
appalling dangers saw them through the Straits, 
where icy squalls came rushing down from every 
quarter of the baffling channels. But the Pacific 
was still worse. For no less than fifty-two con- 
secutive days a furious gale kept driving them 
about like so many bits of driftwood. 'The like 
of it no traveller hath felt, neither hath there 
ever been such a tempest since Noah's flood.* 
The little English vessels fought for their very 
lives in that devouring hell of waters, the loneliest 
and most stupendous in the world. The Marigold 
went down with all hands, and Parson Fletcher, 
who heard their dying call, thought it was a judg- 
ment. At last the gale abated near Cape Horn, 
where Drake landed with a compass, while Par- 
son Fletcher set up a stone engraved with the 
Queen's name and the date of the discovery. 

Deceived by the false trend of the coast shown 
on the Spanish charts Drake went a long way 
northwest from Cape Horn. Then he struck in 
northeast and picked up the Chilean Islands. 
It was December, 1578; but not a word of warn- 
ing had reached the Spanish Pacific when Drake 
stood in to Valparaiso. Seeing a sail, the crew 



' ENCOMPASSMENT OF ALL THE WORLDE ' 129 

of the Grand Captain of the South got up a cask of 
wine and beat a welcome on their drums. In 
the twinkling of an eye gigantic Tom Moone 
was over the side at the head of a party of board- 
ers who laid about them with a will and soon 
drove the Spaniards below. Half a million dol- 
lars' worth of gold and jewels was taken with 
this prize. 

Drake then found a place in Salado Bay where 
he could clean the Golden Hind while the pinnace 
ranged south to look for the other ships that had 
parted company during the two months' storm. 
These were never found, the Elizabeth and the 
Swan having gone home after parting company 
in the storm that sank the Marigold. After a 
prolonged search the Golden Hind stood north 
again. Meanwhile the astounding news of her 
arrival was spreading dismay all over the coast, 
where the old Spanish governor's plans were 
totally upset. The Indians had just been de- 
feated when this strange ship came sailing in 
from nowhere, to the utter confusion of their 
enemies. The governor died of vexation, and all 
the Spanish authorities were nearly worried to 
death. They had never dreamt of such an inva- 
sion. Their crews were small, their lumbering 

9 



130 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

vessels very lightly armed, their towns unforti* 
fied. 

But Drake went faster by sea than their news 
by land. Every vessel was overhauled, taken, 
searched, emptied of its treasure, and then sent 
back with its crew and passengers at liberty. 
One day a watering party chanced upon a Span- 
iard from Potosi fast asleep with thirteen bars 
of silver by him. The bars were lifted quietly 
and the Spaniard left sleeping peacefully. An- 
other Spaniard suddenly came round a corner 
with half a ton of silver on eight llamas. The 
Indians came off to trade; and Drake, as usual, 
made friends with them at once. He had already 
been attacked by other Indians on both coasts. 
But this was because the unknown English had 
been mistaken for the hated Spaniards. 

As he neared Lima, Drake quickened his pace 
lest the great annual treasure ship of 1579 should 
get wind of what was wrong. A minor treasure 
ship was found to have been cleared of all her 
silver just in time to balk him. So he set every 
stitch of canvas she possessed and left her driving 
out to sea with two other empty prizes. Then 
he stole into Lima after dark and came to anchor 
surrounded by Spanish vessels not one of which 



' ENCOMPASSMENT OF ALL THE WORLDE ' 131 

had set a watch. They were found nearly empty. 
But a ship from Panama looked promising; so 
the pinnace started after her, but was fired on 
and an Englishman was killed. Drake then fol- 
lowed her, after cutting every cable in the harbor, 
which soon became a pandemonium of vessels 
gone adrift. The Panama ship had nothing of 
great value except her news, which was that the 
great treasure ship Nuestra Senora de la Concep- 
cion, 'the chief est glory of the whole South Sea,' 
was on her way to Panama. 

She had a very long start; and, as ill luck would 
have it, Drake got becalmed outside Callao, 
where the bells rang out in wild alarm. The 
news had spread inland and the Viceroy of Peru 
came hurrying down with all the troops that he 
could muster. Finding from some arrows that 
the strangers were Englishmen, he put four hun- 
dred soldiers into the only two vessels that had 
escaped the general wreck produced by Drake's 
cutting of the cables. When Drake saw the two 
pursuing craft, he took back his prize crew from 
the Panama vessel, into which he put his prisoners. 
Meanwhile a breeze sprang up and he soon drew 
far ahead. The Spanish soldiers overhauled the 
Panama prize and gladly gave up the pursuit. 



132 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

They had no guns of any size with which to 
fight the Golden Hind; and most of them were 
so sea-sick from the heaving ground-swell that 
they couldn't have boarded her in any case. 

Three more prizes were then taken by the 
swift Golden Hind. Each one had news which 
showed that Drake was closing on the chase. An- 
other week passed with every stitch of canvas 
set. A fourth prize, taken off Cape San Fran- 
cisco, said that the treasure ship was only one 
day ahead. But she was getting near to Panama; 
so every nerve was strained anew. Presently 
Jack Drake, the Captain's page, yelled out Sail- 
hol and scrambled down the mainmast to get 
the golden chain that Drake had promised to the 
first lookout who saw the chase. It was ticklish 
work, so near to Panama; and local winds might 
ruin all. So Drake, in order not to frighten her, 
trailed a dozen big empty wine jars over the 
stern to moderate his pace. At eight o'clock the 
jars were cut adrift and the Golden Hind sprang 
forward with the evening breeze, her crew at 
battle quarters and her decks all cleared for action. 
The cha^e was called the 'Spitfire' by the Span- 
iards because she was much better armed than 
any other vessel there. But, all the same, her 



' ENCOMPASSMENT OF ALL THE WORLDE ' 133 

armament was nothing for her tonnage. The 
Spaniards trusted to their remoteness for protec- 
tion; and that was their undoing. 

To every Englishman's amazement the chase 
was seen to go about and calmly come to hail the 
Golden Hind, which she mistook for a despatch 
vessel sent after her with some message from the 
Viceroy! Drake, asking nothing better, ran up 
alongside as Anton her captain hailed him with 
a Who are you? A ship of Chili! answered Drake. 
Anton looked down on the stranger's deck to see 
it full of armed men from whom a roar of triumph 
came. English! strike sail! Then Drake's whistle 
blew sharply and instant silence followed; on 
which he hailed Don Anton: — Strike sail! Senor 
Juan de Anton, or I must send you to the bottom! 
— Come aboard and do it yourself! bravely an- 
swered Anton. Drake's whistle blew one shrill 
long blast, which loosed a withering volley at less 
than point-blank range. Anton tried to bear 
away and shake off his assailant. But in vain. 
The English guns now opened on his masts and 
rigging. Down came the mizzen, while a hail of 
English shot and arrows prevented every attempt 
to clear away the wreckage. The dumbfounded 
Spanish crew ran below. Don Anton looked 



134 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

overside to port; and there was the English 
pinnace, from which forty English boarders were 
nimbly climbing up his own ship's side. Resist- 
ance was hopeless; so Anton struck and was 
taken aboard the Golden Hind. There he met 
Drake, who was already taking off his armor. 
'Accept with patience the usage of war,' said 
t)rake, laying his hand on Anton's shoulder. 

For all that night, next day, and the next night 
following Drake sailed west with his fabulous prize 
so as to get well clear of the trade route along the 
coast. What the whole treasure was has never 
been revealed. But it certainly amounted to 
the equivalent of many millions at the present 
day. Among the oflScial items were: 13 chests 
of pieces of eight, 80 lbs. of pure gold, jewels and 
plate, 26 ton weight of silver, and sundries 
unspecified. As the Spanish pilot's son looked over 
the rail at this astounding sight, the Englishmen 
called out to say that his father was no longer the 
pilot of the old Spit-^re but of the new Spit-silver. 

The prisoners were no less gratified than sur- 
prised by Drake's kind treatment. He enter- 
tained Don Anton at a banquet, took him all over 
the Golden Hind, and entrusted him with a mes- 
sage to Don Martin, the traitor of San Juan de 



' ENCOMPASSMENT OF ALL THE WORLDE ' 135 

Ulua. This was to say that if Don Martin hanged 
any more Englishmen, as he had just hanged 
Oxenham, he should soon be given a present of 
two thousand Spanish heads. Then Drake gave 
every Spanish oflBcer and man a personal gift 
proportioned to his rank, put all his accumulated 
prisoners aboard the emptied treasure ship, 
wished them a prosperous voyage and better 
luck next time, furnished the brave Don Anton 
with a letter of protection in case he should fall 
in with an English vessel, and, after many expres- 
sions of goodwill on both sides, sailed north, the 
voyage ' made ' ; while the poor ' spit-silver ' treasure 
ship turned sadly east and steered for Panama. 

Lima, Panama, and Nombre de DIos were in 
wild commotion at the news; and every sailor and 
soldier that the Spaniards had was going to and 
fro, uncertain whether to attack or to defend, and 
still more distracted as to the most elusive Eng- 
lish whereabouts. One good Spanish captain, 
Don Pedro Sarmiento de Gamboa, was all for 
going north, his instinct telling him that Drake 
would not come back among the angry bees after 
stealing all the honey. But, by the time the 
Captain-General of New Spain had made up his 



136 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

mind to take one of the many wrong directions 
he had been thinking of, Drake was already 
far on his way north to found New Albion. 

Drake's triumph over all difficulties had won 
the hearts of his men more than ever before, 
while the capture of the treasure ship had done 
nothing to loosen the bonds of discipline. Don 
Francisco de Zarate wrote a very intimate account 
of his experience as a prisoner on board the 
Golden Hind. 'The English captain is one of the 
greatest mariners at sea, alike from his skill and 
his powers of command. His ship is a very fast 
sailer and her men are all skilled hands of warlike 
age and so well trained that they might be old 
soldiers of the Italian tertias,' the crack corps of 
the age in Spanish eyes. 'He is served with 
much plate and has all possible kinds of delicacies 
and scents, many of which he says the Queen of 
England gave him. None of the gentlemen sit 
or cover in his presence without first being or- 
dered to do so. They dine and sup to the music 
of violins. His galleon carries about thirty guns 
and a great deal of ammunition.' This was in 
marked contrast to the common Spanish practice, 
even on the Atlantic side. The greedy exploiters 
of New Spain grudged every ton of armament 



' ENCOMPASSMENT OF ALL THE WORLDE '137 

and every well-trained fighting sailor, both on 
account of the expense and because this form of 
protection took up room they wished to fill with 
merchandise. The result was, of course, that they 
lost more by capture than they gained by evad- 
ing the regulation about the proper armament. 
'His ship is not only of the very latest type but 
sheathed. ' Before copper sheathing was invented 
some generations later, the Teredo worm used to 
honeycomb unprotected hulls in the most danger- 
ous way. John Hawkins invented the sheathing 
used by Drake: a good thick tar-and-hair sheeting 
clamped on with elm. 

Northwest to Coronado, then to Aguatulco, 
then fifteen hundred miles due west, brought 
Drake about that distance west-by-south of the 
modern San Francisco. Here he turned east- 
north-east and, giving the land a wide berth, 
went on to perhaps the latitude of Vancouver 
Island, always looking for the reverse way through 
America by the fabled Northwest Passage. Either 
there was the most extraordinary June ever 
known in California and Oregon, or else the nar- 
ratives of those on board have all been hopelessly 
confused, for freezing rain is said to have fallen 
on the night of June the 3d in the latitude of 42°. 



138 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

In 48° 'there followed most vile, thick, and 
stinking fogs' with still more numbing cold. The 
meat froze when taken oflf the fire. The wet 
rigging turned to icicles. Six men could hardly 
do the work of three. Fresh from the tropics, 
the crews were unfit for going any farther. A 
tremendous nor 'wester settled the question, any- 
way; and Drake ran south to 38° 30', where, 
in what is now Drake's Bay, he came to anchor 
just north of San Francisco. 

Not more than once, if ever at all, and that a 
generation earlier, had Europeans been in northern 
California. The Indians took the Englishmen 
for gods whom they knew not whether to love or 
fear. Drake with the essential kindliness of most, 
and the magnetic power of all, great born comman- 
ders, soon won the natives' confidence. But 
their admiration *as men ravished in their minds' 
was rather overpowering; for, after 'a kind of 
most lamentable weeping and crying out,' they 
came forward with various offerings for the new- 
found gods, prostrating themselves in humble 
adoration and tearing their breasts and faces in a 
wild desire to show the spirit of self-sacrifice. 
Drake and his men, all Protestants, were horrified 
at being made what they considered idols. So, 



' ENCOMPASSMENT OF ALL THE WORLDE ' 139 

kneeling down, they prayed aloud, raising hands 
and eyes to Heaven, hoping thereby to show the 
heathen where the true God lived. Drake then 
read the Bible and all the Englishmen sang 
Psalms, the Indians, 'observing the end of every 
pause, with one voice still cried Oh! greatly re- 
joicing in our exercises.' As this impromptu 
service ended the Indians gave back all the pre- 
sents Drake had given them and retired in attitudes 
of adoration. 

In three days more they returned, headed 
by a Medicine-man, whom the English called 
the 'mace-bearer.' With the slow and stately 
measure of a mystic dance this great high priest 
of heathen rites advanced chanting a sort of litany. 
Both litany and dance were gradually taken up 
by tens, by hundreds, and finally by all the 
thousands of the devotees, who addressed Drake 
with, shouts of Hyoh! and invested him with a 
headdress of rare plumage and a necklace of quaint 
beads. It was, in fact, a native coronation with- 
out a soul to doubt the divine right of their new 
king. Drake's Protestant scruples were quieted 
by thinking 'to what good end God had brought 
this to pass, and what honour and profit it might 
bring to our country in time to come. So, in 



140 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

the name and to the use of her most excellent 
Majesty, he took the sceptre, crown, and dignity' 
and proclaimed an English protectorate over the 
land he called New Albion. He then set up a 
brass plate commemorating this proclamation, 
and put an English coin in the middle so that the 
Indians might see Elizabeth's portrait and armorial 
device. 

The exaltation of the ecstatic devotees con- 
tinued till the day he left. They crowded in to be 
cured by the touch of his hand — those were the 
times in which the sovereign was expected to 
cure the King's Evil by a touch. They also 
expected to be cured by inhaling the divine breath 
of any one among the English gods. The chief 
narrator adds that the gods who pleased the 
Indians most, braves and squaws included, 'were 
commonly the youngest of us,' which shows that 
the human was not quite forgotten in the all- 
divine. When the time for sailing came, the 
devotees were inconsolable. 'They not only in 
a sudden did lose all mirth, joy, glad countenance, 
pleasant speeches, agility of body, and all pleasure, 
but, with sighs and sorrowings, they poured out 
woefuU complayntes and moans with bitter tears, 
and wringing of their hands, and tormenting of 



• ENCOMPASSMENT OF ALL THE WOELDE ' 141 

themselves,' The last the English saw of them 
was the whole devoted tribe assembled on the 
hill around a sacrificial fire, whence they implored 
their gods to bring their heaven back to earth. 

From California Drake sailed to the Philippines; 
and then to the Moluccas, where the Portuguese 
had, if such a thing were possible, outdone even 
the Spaniards in their fiendish dealings with the 
natives. Lopez de Mosquito — viler than his pes- 
tilential name — had murdered the Sultan, who 
was then his guest, chopped up the body, and 
thrown it into the sea. Baber, the Sultan's son, 
had driven out the Portuguese from the island 
of Ternate and was preparing to do likewise 
from the island of Tidore, when Drake arrived. 
Baber then offered Drake, for Queen Elizabeth, 
the complete monopoly of the trade in spices if 
only Drake would use the Golden Hind as the 
flagship against the Portuguese. Drake's recep- 
tion was full of Oriental state; and Sultan Baber 
was so entranced by Drake's musicians that he 
sat all afternoon among them in a boat towed by 
the Golden Hind. But it was too great a risk to 
take a hand in this new war with only fifty-six 
men left. So Drake traded for all the spices he 



142 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

could stow away and concluded a sort of under- 
standing which formed the sheet anchor of English 
diplomacy in Eastern seas for another century 
to come. Ehzabeth was so delighted with this 
result that she gave Drake a cup (still at the 
family seat of Nutwell Court in Devonshire) 
engraved with a picture of his reception by the 
Sultan Baber of Ternate. 

Leaving Ternate, the Golden Hind beat to and 
fro among the tortuous and only half-known 
channels of the Archipelago till the 9th of Janu- 
ary, 1580, when she bore away before a roaring 
trade wind with all sail set and, so far as Drake 
could tell, a good clear course for home. But 
suddenly, without a moment's warning, there 
was a most terrific shock. The gallant ship 
reared like a stricken charger, plunged forward, 
grinding her trembling hull against the rocks, 
and then lay pounding out her life upon a reef, 
Drake and his men at once took in half the strain- 
ing sails; then knelt in prayer; then rose to see 
what could be done by earthly means. To their 
dismay there was no holding ground on which 
to get an anchor fast and warp the vessel off. 
The lead could find no bottom anywhere aft. 
All night long the Golden Hind remained fast caught 



' ENCOMPASSMENT OF ALL THE WORLDE ' 143 

in this insidious death-trap. At dawn Parson 
Fletcher preached a sermon and administered 
the Blessed Sacrament. Then Drake ordered 
ten tons overboard — cannon, cloves, and provi- 
sions. The tide was now low and she sewed seven 
feet, her draught being thirteen and the depth of 
water only six. Still she kept an even keel as the 
reef was to leeward and she had just sail enough 
to hold her up. But at high tide in the afternoon 
, there was a lull and she began to heel over to- 
wards the unfathomable depths. Just then, 
however, a quiver ran through her from stem to 
stern; an extra sail that Drake had ordered up 
caught what little wind there was; and, with the 
last throb of the rising tide, she shook herself free 
and took the water as quietly as if her hull was be- 
ing launched. There were perils enough to follow: 
dangers of navigation, the arrival of a Portu- 
guese fleet that was only just eluded, and all the 
ordinary risks of travel in times when what might 
be called the official guide to voyagers opened 
with the ominous advice, First make thy Will. 
But the greatest had now been safely passed. 

Meanwhile all sorts of rumors were rife in Spain, 
New Spain, and England. Drake had been 



144 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

hanged. That rumor came from the hanging of 
John Oxenham at Lima. The Golden Hind had 
foundered. That tale was what Winter, captain 
of the Elizabeth, was not altogether unwilling 
should be thought after his own failure to face 
another great antarctic storm. He had returned 
in 1578. News from Peru and Mexico came home 
in 1579; but no Drake. So, as 1580 wore on, 
his friends began to despair, the Spaniards and 
Portuguese rejoiced, while Burleigh, with all who 
foimd Drake an inconvenience in their diplomatic 
way, began to hope that perhaps the sea had 
smoothed things over. In August the London 
merchants were thrown into consternation by 
the report of Drake's incredible captures; for 
their own merchant fleet was just then off for 
Spain. They waited on the Council, who soothed 
them with the assurance that Drake's voyage was 
a purely private venture so far as prizes were 
concerned. With this diplomatic quibble they 
were forced to be content. 

But worse was soon to follow. The king of 
Portugal died. Philip's army marched on Lisbon 
immediately, and all the Portuguese possessions 
were added to the already overgrown empire of 
Spaia, Worse still, this annexation gave Philip 



' ENCOMPASSMENT OF ALL THE WORLDE ' 145 

what he wanted in the way of ships; for Portugal- 
had more than Spain. The Great Armada was 
now expected to be formed against England, 
unless EHzabeth's miraculous diplomacy could 
once more get her clear of the fast-entangling 
coils. To add to the general confusion, this 
was also the year in which the Pope sent his 
picked Jesuits to England, and in which Eliza- 
beth was carrying on her last great international 
flirtation with ugly, dissipated Francis of Anjou, 
brother to the king of France. 

Into this imbroglio sailed the Golden Hind with 
ballast of silver and cargo of gold. 'Is Her 
Majesty alive and well?' said Drake to the first 
sail outside of Plymouth Sound. 'Ay, ay, she 
is, my Master,' answered the skipper of a fishing 
smack, 'but there's a deal o' sickness here in 
Plymouth'; on which Drake, ready for any excuse 
to stay afloat, came to anchor in the harbor. His 
wife, pretty Mary Newman from the banks of 
Tavy, took boat to see him, as did the Mayor, 
whose business was to warn him to keep quiet 
till his course was clear. So Drake wrote off to 
the Queen and all the Councillors who were on 
his side. The answer from the Councillors was 
not encouraging; so he warped out quietly and 



146 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

anchored again behind Drake's Island in the Sound. 
But presently the Queen's own message came, 
commanding him to an audience at which, she 
said, she would be pleased to view some of the 
curiosities he had brought from foreign parts. 
Straight on that hint he started up to town with 
spices, diamonds, pearls, and gold enough to win 
any woman's pardon and consent. 

The audience lasted six hours. Meanwhile 
the Council sat without any of Drake's supporters 
and ordered all the treasure to be impounded in 
the Tower. But Leicester, Walsingham, and Hat- 
ton, all members of Drake's syndicate, refused to 
sign; while Elizabeth herself, the managing di- 
rector, suspended the order till her further pleasure 
should be known. The Spanish ambassador 'did 
bm-n with passion against Drake. ' The Council was 
distractingly divided. The London merchants 
trembled for their fleet. But Elizabeth was 
determined that the blow to Philip should hurt 
him as much as it could without producing an 
immediate war; while down among Drake's own 
West-Countrymen 'the case was clear in sea 
divinitie,' as similar cases had often been before. 
Tremayne, a Devonshire magistrate and friend 
of the syndicate, could hardly find words to express 



' ENCOMPASSMENT OF ALL THE WORLDE ' 147 

his contentment with Drake, whom he called 'a 
man of great government, and that by the rules 
of God and His Book. ' 

Elizabeth decided to stand by Drake. She 
claimed, what was true, that he had injured no 
actual place or person of the King of Spain's, 
nothing but property afloat, appropriate for re- 
prisals. All England knew the story of Ulua 
and approved of reprisals in accordance with the 
spirit of the age. And the Queen had a special 
grievance about Ireland, where the Spaniards 
were entrenched in Smerwick, thus adding to the 
confusion of a rebellion that never quite died 
down at any time. Philip explained that the 
Smerwick Spaniards were there as private volun- 
teers. Elizabeth answered that Drake was just 
the same. The English tide, at all events, was 
turning in his favor. The indefatigable Stowe, 
chronicler of London, records that 'the people 
generally applauded his wonderful long adven- 
tures and rich prizes. His name and fame be- 
came admirable in all places, the people swarming 
daily in the streets to behold him, vowing hatred 
to all that misliked him. ' 

The Golden Hind had been brought round to 
London, where she was the greatest attraction 



148 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

of the day. Finally, on the 4th of April, 1581, 
Elizabeth went on board in state, to a banquet 
'finer than has ever been seen in England since 
King Henry VIII,' said the furious Spanish am- 
bassador in his report to Philip. But this was 
not her chief offence in Spanish eyes. For here, 
surrounded by her court, and in the presence of 
an enormous multitude of her enthusiastic sub-< 
jects, she openly defied the King of Spain. 'He ~ 
hath demanded Drake's head of me, ' she laughed 
aloud, 'and here I have a gilded sword to strike 
it off.' With that she bade Drake kneel. Then, 
handing the sword to Marchaumont, the special 
envoy of her French suitor, Francis of Anjou, 
she ordered him to give the accolade. This done, 
she pronounced the formula of immemorial fame: 
I hid thee rise. Sir Francis Drake! 



CHAPTER VIII 

DRAKE CLIPS THE WINGS OF SPAIN 

For three years after Drake had been dubbed 
Sir Francis by the Queen he was the hero of 
every class of Englishmen but two; the extreme 
Roman Catholics, who wanted Mary Queen of 
Scots, and the merchants who were doing business 
with Portugal and Spain. The Marian opposition 
to the general policy of England persisted for a few 
years longer. But the merchants who were the 
inheritors of centuries of commercial intercourse 
with England's new enemies were soon to receive 
a shock that completely changed their minds. 
They were themselves one of the strongest fac- 
tors that made for war in the knotty prob- 
lem now to be solved at the cannon's mouth 
because English trade was seeking new outlets 
in every direction and was beating hard against 
every door that foreigners shut in its face. 
These merchants would not, however, support 
the war party till they were forced to, as they 

149 



150 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

still hoped to gain by other means what only 
war could win. 

The year that Drake came home (1580) Philip 
at last got hold of a sea-going fleet, the eleven big 
Portuguese galleons taken when Lisbon fell. With 
the Portuguese ships, sailors, and oversea posses- 
sions, with more galleons under construction at 
Santander in Spain, and with the galleons of the 
Indian Guard built by the great Menendez to pro- 
tect New Spain: with all this performed or prom- 
ised, Philip began to feel as if the hour was at 
hand when he could do to England what she had 
done to him. 

In 1583 Santa Cruz, the best Spanish admiral 
since the death of Menendez, proposed to form the 
nucleus of the Great Armada out of the fleet with 
which he had just broken down the last vestige of 
Portuguese resistance in the Azores. From that day 
on, the idea was never dropped. At the same time 
Elizabeth discovered the Paris Plot between Mary 
and Philip and the Catholics of France, all of whom 
were bent on her destruction. England stood to 
arms. But false ideas of naval defence were upper- 
most in the Queen's Council. No attempt was 
made to strike a concentrated blow at the heart of 
the enemy's fleet in his own waters. Instead of 



DRAKE CLIPS THE WINGS OF SPAIN 151 

this the English ships were carefully divided among 
the three squadrons meant to defend the ap- 
proaches to England, Ireland, and Scotland, be- 
cause, as the Queen-in-Council sagely remarked, 
who could be expected to know what the enemy's 
point of attack would be? The fact is that when 
wielding the forces of the fleet and army the Queen 
and most of her non-combatant coimcillors never 
quite reached that supreme point of view from 
which the greatest statesmen see exactly where 
civil control ends and civilian interference begins. 
Luckily for England, their mistakes were once 
more covered up by a turn of the international 
kaleidoscope. 

No sooner had the immediate danger of a great 
combined attack on England passed away than 
Elizabeth returned to Drake's plan for a regular 
raid against New Spain, though it had to be one 
that was not designed to bring on war in Europe. 
Drake, who was a member of the Navy Board 
charged with the reorganization of the fleet, was 
to have command. The ships and men were ready. 
But the time had not yet come. 

Next year (1584) Amadas and Barlow, Sir 
Walter Raleigh's two prospectors for the 'planta- 
tion' of Virginia, were being delighted with the 



152 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

summer lands and waters of what is now North 
Carolina. We shall soon hear more of Raleigh 
and his vision of the West. But at this time a 
good many important events were happening in 
Europe; and it is these that we must follow first. 

William of Orange, the Washington of Holland, 
was assassinated at Philip's instigation, while plots 
to kill Elizabeth and place Mary on the throne 
began to multiply. The agents were executed, 
while a 'Bond of Association' was signed by all 
Elizabeth's chief supporters, binding them to 
hunt down and kill all who tried to kill her — a 
plain hint for Mary Queen of Scots to stop plotting 
or stand the consequences. 

But the merchants trading with Spain and Por- 
tugal were more than ever for keeping on good 
terms with Philip because the failure of the Spanish 
harvest had induced him to offer them special 
protection and encouragement if they would sup- 
ply his country's needs at once. Every avail- 
able ton of shipping was accordingly taken up for 
Spain. The English merchant fleet went out, and 
big profits seemed assured. But presently the 
Primrose, ' a tall ship of London, ' came flying home 
to say that Philip had suddenly seized the mer- 
chandise, imprisoned the men, and taken the ships 



DRAKE CLIPS THE WINGS OF SPAIN 153 

and guns for use with the Great Armada. That 
was the last straw. The peaceful traders now saw 
that they were wrong and that the fighting ones 
were right; and for the first time both could rejoice 
over the clever trick by which John iHawkins had 
got his own again from Philip. In 1571, three 
years after Don Martin's treachery at San Juan 
de Ulua, Hawkins, while commanding the Scilly 
Island squadron, led the Spanish ambassador to 
believe that he would go over to the Spanish cause 
in Ireland if his claims for damages were only paid 
in full and all his surviving men in Mexico were 
sent home. The cold and crafty Philip swallowed 
this tempting bait; sent the men home with Span- 
ish dollars in their pockets, and paid Hawkins 
forty thousand pounds, the worth of about two 
million dollars now. Then Hawkins used the in- 
formation he had picked up behind the Spanish 
scenes to unravel the Ridolfi Plot for putting 
Mary on the throne in 1572, the year of St. Bar- 
tholomew. No wonder Philip hated sea-dogs! 

Things new and old having reached this pass, 
the whole of England, bar the Marians, were 
eager for the great 'Indies Voyage' of 1585. 
Londoners crowded down to Woolwich 'with great 
jolitie' to see off their own contingent on its way 



154 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

to join Drake's flag at Plymouth. Very probably 
Shakespeare went down too, for that famous Lon- 
don merchantman, the Tiger, to which he twice 
alludes — once in Macbeth and once in Twelfth 
Night — was off with this contingent. Such a 
private fleet had never yet been seen: twenty-one 
ships, eight smart pinnaces, and twenty-three 
hundred men of every rank and rating. The 
Queen was principal shareholder and managing 
director. But, as usual in colonial attacks in- 
tended for disavowal if necessity arose, no pros- 
pectus or other document was published, nor were 
the shareholders of this joint-stock company 
known in any quite official way. It was the size 
of the fleet and the reputation of the ofl5cers that 
made it a national affair. Drake, now forty, 
was 'Admiral'; Frobisher, of North- West-Passage 
fame, was 'Vice'; EJiollys, the Queen's own cousin, 
'Rear.' Carleill, a famous general, commanded 
the troops and sailed in Shakespeare's Tiger. 
Drake's old crew from the Golden Hind came for- 
ward to a man, among them Wright, 'that excel- 
lent mathematician and ingineer,' and big Tom 
Moone, the lion of all boarding-parties, each in 
command of a ship. 
But Elizabeth was just then weaving the threads 



DRAKE CLIPS THE WINGS OP SPAIN 155 

of an unusually intricate diplomatic pattern; so 
doubts and delays, orders and counter-orders 
vexed Drake to the last. Sir Philip Sidney, too, 
came down as a volunteer; which was another sore 
vexation, since his European fame would have 
made him practically joint commander of the 
fleet, although he was not a naval officer at all. 
But he had the good sense to go back; whereupon 
Drake, fearing further interruptions from the 
court, ordered everything to be tumbled into the 
nearest ships and hvuried off to sea under a press 
of sail. 

The first port of call was Vigo in the north- 
western corner of Spain, where Drake's envoy told 
the astonished governor that Elizabeth wanted to 
know what Philip intended doing about embargoes 
now. If the governor wanted peace, he must 
listen to Drake's arguments; if war — well, Drake 
was ready to begin at once. A three-days' storm 
interrupted the proceedings; after which the 
English intercepted the fugitive townsfolk whose 
flight showed that the governor meant to make a 
stand, though he had said the embargo had been 
lifted and that all the English prisoners were at 
liberty to go. Some English sailors, however, 
were still being held; so Drake sent in an armed 



156 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

party and brougM them off, with a good pile of 
reprisal booty too. Then he put to sea and made 
for the Spanish Main by way of the Portuguese 
African islands. 

The plan of campaign drawn up for Burleigh's 
information still exists. It shows that Drake, the 
consummate raider, was also an admiral of the high- 
est kind. The items, showing how long each part 
should take and what loot each place should yield, 
are exact and interesting. But it is in the relation 
of every part to every other part and to the whole 
that the original genius of the born commander 
shines forth in all its glory. After taking San 
Domingo he was to sack Margarita, La Hacha, and 
Santa Marta, razing their fortifications as he left. 
Cartagena and Nombre de Dios came next. Then 
Carleill was to raid Panama, with the help of the 
Maroons, while Drake himself was to raid the 
coast of Honduras. Finally, with reunited forces, 
he would take Havana and, if possible, hold it by 
leaving a sufficient garrison behind. Thus he 
would paralyze New Spain by destroying all the 
points of junction along its lines of communica- 
tion just when Philip stood most in need of its 
help for completing the Great Armada. 

But, like a mettlesome steeplechaser, Drake took 



DRAKE CLIPS THE WINGS OF SPAIN 157 

a leap in his stride during the prehminary canter 
before the great race. The wind being foul for the 
Canaries, he went on to the Cape Verde archipelago 
and captured Santiago, which had been abandoned 
in terror on the approach of the English 'Dragon,' 
that sinister hero of Lope de Vega's epic onslaught 
La Dragontea. As good luck would have it, Carleill 
marched in on the anniversary of the Queen's acces- 
sion, the 17th of November. So there was a royal 
salute fired in Her Majesty's honor by land and sea. 
No treasure was found. French privateers had 
sacked the place three years before and had killed 
off everyone they caught; the Portuguese, there- 
fore, were not going to wait to meet the English 
' Dragon ' too. The force that marched inland failed 
to unearth the governor. So San Domingo, San- 
tiago, and Porto Praya were all burnt to the ground 
before the fleet bore away for the West Indies. 

San Domingo in Hispaniola (Hayti) was made 
in due course, but only after a virulent epidemic 
had seriously thinned the ranks. San Domingo 
was the oldest town in New Spain and was strongly 
garrisoned and fortified. But Carleill's soldiers 
carried all before them. Drake battered down the 
seaward walls. The Spaniards abandoned the 
citadel at night, and the English took the whole 



158 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

place as a New Year's gift for 1586. But again 
there was no treasure. The Spaniards had killed 
oflf the Caribs in war or in the mines, so that 
nothing was now dug out. Moreover the citizens 
were quite on their guard against adventurers and 
ready to hide what they had in the most inacces- 
sible places. Drake then put the town up to ran- 
som and sent out his own Maroon boy servant to 
bring in the message from the Spanish officer pro- 
posing terms. This Spaniard, hating all Maroons, 
ran his lance through the boy and cantered away. 
The boy came back with the last ounce of his 
strength and fell dead at Drake's feet. Drake 
sent to say he would hang two Spaniards every 
day if the murderer was not hanged by his own 
compatriots. As no one came he began with two 
friars. Then the Spaniards brought in the offender 
and hanged him in the presence of both armies. 

That episode cleared the air; and an inter- 
change of courtesies and hospitalities immediately 
followed. But no business was done. Drake there- 
fore began to burn the town bit by bit till twenty- 
five thousand ducats were paid. It was very little 
for the capital. But the men picked up a good 
deal of loot in the process and vented their ultra- 
Protestant zeal on all the 'graven images' that 



DRAKE CLIPS THE WINGS OF SPAIN 159 

were not worth keeping for sale. On the whole the 
English were well satisfied. They had taken all 
the Spanish ships and armament they wanted, 
destroyed the rest, liberated over a hundred 
brawny galley-slaves — some Turks among them — 
all anxious for revenge, and had struck a blow at 
Spanish prestige which echoed back to Europe. 
Spain never hid her light under a bushel; and here, 
in the Governor's Palace, was a huge escutcheon 
with a horse standing on the earth and pawing at 
the sky. The motto blazoned on it was to the effect 
that the earth itself was not enough for Spain — Non 
sufficit orbis. Drake's humor was greatly tickled, 
and he and his officers kept asking the Spaniards 
to translate the motto again and again. 

Delays and tempestuous head winds induced 
Drake to let intermediate points alone and make 
straight for Cartagena on the South American main- 
land. Cartagena had been warned and was on the 
alert. It was strong by both nature and art. The 
garrison was good of its kind, though the Spaniards' 
custom of fighting in quilted jackets instead of 
armor put them at a disadvantage. This custom 
was due to the heat and to the fact that the jackets 
were proof against the native arrows. 

There was an outer and an inner harbor, with 



160 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

such an intricate and well-defended passage that 
no one thought Drake would dare go in. But he 
did. Frobisher had failed to catch a pilot. But 
Drake did the trick without one, to the utter dis- 
may of the Spaniards. After some more very 
clever manoeuvres, to distract the enemy's atten- 
tion from the real point of attack, Carleill and the 
soldiers landed under cover of the dark and came 
upon the town where they were least expected, 
by wading waist-deep through the water just out 
of sight of the Spanish gunners. The entrench- 
ments did not bar the way in this unexpected 
quarter. But wine casks full of rammed earth had 
been hurriedly piled there in case the mad English 
should make the attempt. Carleill gave the signal. 
Goring's musketeers sprang forward and fired into 
the Spaniards' faces. Then Sampson's pikemen 
charged through and a desperate hand-to-hand 
fight ensued. Finally the Spaniards broke after 
Carleill had killed their standard-bearer and Gor- 
ing had wounded and taken their commander. 
The enemies ran pell-mell through the town to- 
gether till the English reformed in the Plaza. 
Next day Drake moved in to attack the harbor 
fort; whereupon it was abandoned and the whole 
place fell. 



DRAKE CLIPS THE WINGS OF SPAIN 161 

But again there was a dearth of booty. The 
Spaniards were getting shy of keeping too nany 
valuables where they could be taken. So negoti- 
ations, emphasized by piecemeal destruction, went 
on till sickness and the lateness of the season put 
the English in a sorry fix. The sack of the city 
had yielded much less than that of San Domingo; 
and the men, who were all volunteers, to be paid 
out of plunder, began to grumble at their ill-success. 
Many had been wounded, several killed — big, 
faithful Tom Moone among them. A hundred 
died. More were ill. Two councils of war were 
held, one naval, the other military. The military 
officers agreed to give up all their own shares to 
the men. But the naval officers, who were poorer 
and who were also responsible for the expenses of 
their vessels, could not concur. Finally 110,000 
ducats (equivalent in purchasing power to nearly 
three millions of dollars) were accepted. 

It was now impossible to complete the pro- 
gramme or even to take Havana, in view of the 
renewed sickness, the losses, and the advance of 
the season. A further disappointment was ex- 
perienced when Drake just missed the treasure 
fleet by only half a day, though through no fault 
of his own. Then, with constantly diminishing 



162 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

numbers of eflFective men, the course was shaped 
for the Spanish 'plantation' of St. Augustine in 
Florida. This place was utterly destroyed and 
some guns and money were taken from it. Then 
the fleet stood north again till, on the 9th of June, 
it found Raleigh's colony of Roanoke. 

Ralph Lane, the governor, was in his fort on the 
island ready to brave it out. Drake offered a free 
passage home to all the colonists. But Lane pre- 
ferred staying and going on with his surveys and 
'plantation.' Drake then filled up a store ship to 
leave behind with Lane. But a terrific three-day 
storm wrecked the store ship and damped the 
colonists' enthusiasm so much that they persuaded 
Lane to change his mind. The colonists embarked 
and the fleet then bore away for home. Though 
balked of much it had expected in the way of 
booty, reduced in strength by losses, and therefore 
unable to garrison any strategic point which would 
threaten the life of New Spain, its purely naval 
work was a true and glorious success. When he 
arrived at Plymouth, Drake wrote immediately to 
Biu-leigh: 'My very good Lord, there is now a very 
great gap opened, very little to the liking of the 
King of Spain. ' 

This 'very great gap' on the American side of 



DRAKE CLIPS THE WINGS OF SPAIN 163 

the Atlantic was soon to be matched by the still 
greater gap Drake was to make on the European 
side by destroying the Spanish Ajmada and 
thus securing that mightiest of ocean highways 
through which the hosts of emigration afterwards 
poured into a land endowed with the goodly 
heritage of English liberty and the English tongue. 

The year of Drake's return (1586) was no less 
troublous than its immediate predecessors. The 
discovery of the Babington Plot to assassinate 
Elizabeth and to place Mary on the throne, sup- 
ported by Scotland, France, and Spain, proved 
Mary's complicity, produced an actual threat of 
war from France, and made the Pope and Philip 
gnash their teeth with rage. The Roman Catholic 
allied powers had no sufficient navy, and Philip's 
credit was at its lowest ebb after Drake's devastat- 
ing raid. The English were exultant, east and 
west; for the True Report of a Worthie Fight per- 
formed in the voiage from Turkic by Five Shippes of 
London against 11 gallies and twofrigats of the King 
of Spain at Pantalarea, within the Straits [of Gib- 
raltar] Anno 1586 was going the rounds and 
running a close second to Drake's West India 
achievement. The ignorant and thoughtless, both 



164 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

then and since, mistook this fight, and another 
like it in 1590, to mean that English merchantmen 
could beat off Spanish men-of-war. Nothing of 
the kind: the English Levanters were heavily 
armed and admirably manned by well-trained 
fighting crews; and what these actions really 
proved, if proof was necessary, was that galleys 
were no match for broadsides from the proper 
kind of sailing ships. 

Turkey came into the problems of 1586 in more 
than name, for there was a vast diplomatic scheme 
on foot to unite the Turks with such Portuguese 
as would support Antonio, the pretender to the 
throne of Portugal, and the rebellious Dutch 
against Spain, Catholic France, and Mary Stuart's 
Scotland. Leicester was in the Netherlands with 
an English army, fighting indecisively, losing Sir 
Philip Sidney and angering Elizabeth by accepting 
the governor-generalship without her leave and 
against her diplomacy, which, now as ever, was 
opposed to any definite avowal that could possibly 
be helped. 

Meanwhile the Great Armada was working up 
its strength, and Drake was commissioned to 
weaken it as much as possible. But, on the 8th 
of February, 1587, before he could sail, Mary was 



DRAKE CLIPS THE WINGS OF SPAIN 165 

at last beheaded, and Elizabeth was once more 
entering on a tricky course of tortuous diplomacy 
too long by half to follow here. As the great crisis 
approached, it had become clearer and clearer that 
it was a case' of kill or be killed between Elizabeth 
and Mary, and that England could not afford to 
leave Marian enemies in the rear when there might 
be a vast Catholic alliance in the front. But, as 
a sovereign, Elizabeth disliked the execution of 
any crowned head; as a wily woman she wanted to 
make the most of both sides; and as a diplomatist 
she would not have open war and direct operations 
going down to the root of the evil it devious ways 
would do. 

So the peace party of the Council prevailed 
again, and Drake's orders were changed. He had 
been going as a lion. The peace party now tried 
to send him as a fox. But he stretched his instruc- 
tions to their utmost limits and even defied the 
custom of the service by holding no council of 
war when deciding to swoop on Cadiz. 

As they entered the harbor, the English saw 
sixty ships engaged in preparations for the Great 
Armada. Many had no sails — to keep the crews 
from deserting. Others were waiting for their 
guns to come from Italy. Ten galleys rowed out 



166 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

to protect them. The weather and surroundings 
were perfect for these galleys. But as they came 
end-on in line-abreast Drake crossed their T in 
line-ahead with the shattering broadsides of four 
Queen's ships which soon sent them flying. Each 
galley was the upright of the T, each English sail- 
ing ship the corresponding cross-piece. Then 
Drake attacked the shipping and wrecked it right 
and left. Next morning he led the pinnaces and 
boats into the inner harbor, where they cut out the 
big galleon belonging to Santa Cruz himself, the 
Spanish commander-in-chief. Then the galleys 
got their chance again — an absolutely perfect 
chance, because Drake's fleet was becalmed at the 
very worst possible place for sailing ships and the 
very best possible place for the well-oared galleys. 
But even under these extraordinary circumstances 
the ships smashed the galleys up with broadside 
fire and sent them back to cover. Then the 
Spaniards towed some fire-ships out. But the 
English rowed for them, threw grappling irons into 
them, and gave them a turn that took them clear. 
Then, for the last time, the galleys came on, as 
bravely but as uselessly as ever. When Drake 
sailed away he left the shipping of Cadiz com- 
pletely out of action for months to come, though 



DRAKE CLIPS THE WINGS OF SPAIN 167 

fifteen sail escaped destruction in the inner har- 
bor. His own losses were quite insignificant. 

The next objective was Cape St. Vincent, so 
famous through centuries of naval history because 
it is the great strategic salient thrust out into the 
Atlantic from the southwest corner of Europe, and 
thus commands the flank approaches to and from 
the Mediterranean, to and from the coast of Africa, 
and, in those days, the route to and from New 
Spain by way of the Azores. Here Drake had 
trouble with Borough, his second-in-command, a 
friend of cautious Burleigh and a man hide-bound 
in the warfare of the past — a sort of English Don. 
Borough objected to Drake's taking decisive action 
without the vote of a council of war. Remember- 
ing the terrors of Italian textbooks, he had con- 
tinued to regard the galleys with much respect in 
the harbor of Cadiz even after Drake had broken 
them with ease. Finally, still clinging to the old 
ways of mere raids and reprisals, he stood aghast 
at the idea of seizing Cape St. Vincent and making 
it a base of operations. Drake promptly put him 
under arrest. 

Sagres Castle, commanding the roadstead of 
Cape St. Vincent, was extraordinarily strong. The 
cliffs, on which it occupied about a hundred acres. 



168 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

rose sheer two hundred feet all round except at a 
narrow and well defended neck only two hundred 
yards across. Drake led the stormers himself. 
While half his eight hundred men kept up a con- 
tinuous fire against every Spaniard on the wall the 
other half rushed piles of faggots in against the oak 
and iron gate. Drake was foremost in this work, 
carrying faggots himself and applying the first 
match. For two hours the fight went on; when 
suddenly the Spaniards sounded a parley. Their 
commanding officer had been killed and the wood- 
work of the gate had taken fire. In those days a 
garrison that would not surrender was put to the 
sword when captured; so these Spaniards may well 
be excused. Drake willingly granted them the hon- 
ors of war; and so, even to his own surprise, the 
castle fell without another blow. The minor forts 
near by at once surrendered and were destroyed, 
while the guns of Sagres were thrown over the 
cliflFs and picked up by the men below. The whole 
neighboring coast was then swept clear of the 
fishing fleet which was the main source of supply 
used for the Great Armada. 

The next objective was Lisbon, the headquarters 
of the Great Armada, one of the finest harbors in 
the world, and then the best fortified of all. Tak- 



DRAKE CLIPS THE WINGS OF SPAIN 169 

ing it was, of course, out of the question without 
a much larger fleet accompanied by an overwhelm- 
ing army. But Drake reconnoitred to good effect, 
learnt wrinkles that saved him from disaster two 
years later, and retired after assuring himself that 
an Armada which could not fight him then could 
never get to England during the same season. 

Ship fevers and all the other epidemics that 
dogged the old sailing fleets and scourged them 
like the plague never waited long. Drake was 
soon short-handed. To add to his troubles. Bor- 
ough sailed away for home; whereupon Drake 
tried him and his officers by court-martial and 
condemned them all to death. This penalty was 
never carried out, for reasons we shall soon under- 
stand. Since no reinforcements came from home. 
Cape St. Vincent could not be held any longer. 
There was, however, one more stroke to make. 
The great East-India Spanish treasure ship was 
coming home; and Drake made up his mind to 
have her. 

Off the Azores he met her coming towards him 
and dipping her colors again and again to ask him 
who he was. 'But we would put out no flag till 
we were within shot of her, when we hanged out 
flags, streamers, and pendants. Which done, we 



170 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

haUed her with cannon-shot; and having shot her 
through divers times, she shot at us. Then we 
began to ply her hotly, our fly boat [lightly armed 
supply vessel of comparatively small size] and one 
of our pinnaces lying athwart her hawse [across 
her bows] at whom she shot and threw fire-works 
[incendiary missiles] but did them no hurt, in that 
her ordnance lay so high over them. Then she, 
seeing us ready to lay her aboard [range up 
alongside], all of our ships plying her so hotly, and 
resolutely determined to make short work of her, 
they yielded to us. ' The Spaniards fought bravely, 
as they generally did. But they were only naval 
amateurs compared with the trained professional 
sea-dogs. 

The voyage was now 'made' in the old sense of 
that term; for this prize was 'the greatest ship in 
all Portugal, richly laden, to our Happy Joy.' 
The relative values, then and now, are impossible 
to fix, because not only was one dollar the equiva- 
lent in most ways of ten dollars now but, in view 
of the smaller material scale on which men's lives 
were lived, these ten dollars might themselves be 
multiplied by ten, or more, without producing the 
same effect as the multiplied sum would now pro- 
duce on iuternational affairs. SuflBce it to say 



DRAKE CLIPS THE WINGS OF SPAIN 171 

that the ship was worth nearly five million dollars 
of actual cash, and ten, twenty, thirty, or many 
more millions if present sums of money are to be 
considered relatively to the national incomes of 
those poorer days. 

But better than spices, jewels, and gold were 
the secret documents which revealed the dazzling 
profits of the new East-India trade by sea. From 
that time on for the next twelve years the London 
merchants and their friends at court worked stead- 
ily for official sanction in this most promising direc- 
tion. At last, on the 31st of December, 1600, the 
documents captured by Drake produced their 
result, and the East-India Company, by far the 
greatest corporation of its kind the world has ever 
seen, was granted a royal charter for exclusive 
trade. Drake may therefore be said not only to 
have set the course for the United States but to 
have actually discovered the route leading to the 
Empire of India, now peopled by three hundred 
million subjects of the British Crown. 

So ended the famous campaign of 1587, popu- 
larly known as the singeing of King Philip's beard. 
Beyond a doubt it was the most consummate 
work of naval strategy which, up to that time,' all 
history records. 



CHAPTER IX 

DRAKE AND THE SPANISH AKMADA 

With 1588 the final crisis came. Philip — 
haughty, gloomy, and ambitious Philip, unskilled 
in arms, but persistent in his plans — sat in his 
palace at Madrid like a spider forever spinning 
webs that enemies tore down. Drake and the 
English had thrown the whole scheme of the 
Armada's mobilization completely out of gear. 
Philip's well-intentioned orders and counter- 
orders had made confusion worse confounded; and 
though the Spanish empire held half the riches of 
the world it felt the lack of ready money because 
English sea power had made it all parts and no 
whole for several months together. Then, when 
mobilization was resumed, Philip found himself 
distracted by expert advice from Santa Cruz, his 
admiral, and from Parma, Alva's successor in the 
Netherlands. 

The general idea was to send the Invincible 
172 



DRAKE AND THE SPANISH ARMADA 173 

Armada up the English Channel as far as the 
Netherlands, where Parma would be ready with a 
magnificent Spanish army waiting aboard troop- 
ships for safe conduct into England. The Spanish 
regulars could then hold London up to ransom or 
burn it to the ground. So far, so good. But 
Philip, to whom amphibious warfare remained an 
unsolved mystery, thought that the Armada and 
the Spanish army could conquer England without 
actually destroying the English fleet. He could 
not see where raids must end and conquest must 
begin. Most Spaniards agreed with him. Parma 
and Santa Cruz did not. Parma, as a very able 
general, wanted to know how his oversea communi- 
cations could be made quite safe. Santa Cruz, 
as a very able admiral, knew that no such sea road 
could possibly be safe while the ubiquitous English 
navy was undefeated and at large. Some time or 
other a naval battle must be won, or Parma's 
troops, cut off from their base of supplies and sur- 
rounded like an island by an angry sea of enemies, 
must surely perish. Win first at sea and then on 
land, said the expert warriors, Santa Cruz and 
Parma. Get into hated England with the least pos- 
sible fighting, risk, or loss, said the mere politician, 
Philip, and then crush Drake if he annoys you. 



174 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

Early and late persistent PhUip slaved away 
upon this 'Enterprize of England.' With incred- 
ible toil he spun his web anew. The ships were 
collected into squadrons; the squadrons at last 
began to wear the semblance of a fleet. But sem- 
blance only. There were far too many soldiers and 
not nearly enough sailors. Instead of sending the 
fighting fleet to try to clear the way for the troop- 
ships coming later on, Philip mixed army and navy 
together. The men-of-war were not bad of their 
kind; but the kind was bad. They were floating 
castles, high out of the water, crammed with 
soldiers, some other landsmen, and stores, and with 
only light ordnance, badly distributed so as to 
fire at rigging and superstructures only, not at the 
hulls as the English did. Yet this was not the 
worst. The worst was that the fighting fleet was 
cumbered with troopships which might have been 
useful in boarding, but which were perfectly use- 
less in fighting of any other kind — and the English 
men-of-war were much too handy to be laid aboard 
by the lubberly Spanish troopships. Santa Cruz 
worked himself to death. In one of his last dis- 
patches he begged for more and better guns. All 
Philip could do was to authorize the purchase of 
whatever guns the foreign merchantmen in Lisbon 



DRAKE AND THE SPANISH ARMADA 175 

harbor could be induced to sell. Sixty second-rate 
pieces were obtained in this way. 

Then, worn out by work and worry, Santa Cruz 
died, and Philip forced the command on a most 
reluctant landlubber, the Duke of Medina Sidonia, 
a very great grandee of Spain, but wholly unfitted 
to lead a fleet. The death of Santa Cruz, in whom 
the fleet and army had great confidence, nearly 
upset the whole 'Enterprize of England.' The 
captains were as unwilling to serve xmder bandy- 
legged, sea-sick Sidonia as he was unwilling to 
command them. Volunteering ceased. Compul- 
sion failed to bring in the skilled ratings urgently 
required. The sailors were now not only fewer 
than ever — sickness and desertion had been thin- 
ning their ranks — but many of these few were 
unfit for the higher kinds of seamanship, while 
oidy the merest handful of them were qualified 
as seamen gimners. Philip, however, was deter- 
mined; and so the doomed Armada struggled on, 
fitting its imperfect parts together into a still more 
imperfect whole until, in June, it was as ready as it 
ever could be made. 

Meanwhile the English had their troubles too. 
These were also political. But the English navy 
was of such overwhelming strength that it could 



176 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

stand them with impunity; The Queen, after 
thirty years of wonderful, if tortuous, diplomacy, 
was still disinclined to drop the art in which she 
was supreme for that in which she counted for 
so much less and by which she was obliged to 
spend so very much more. There was still a 
little peace party also bent on diplomacy instead 
of war. Negotiations were opened with Parma 
at Flushing and diplomatic 'feelers' went out 
towards Philip, who sent back some of his own. 
But the time had come for war. The stream was 
now too strong for either Elizabeth or Philip to 
stem or even divert into minor channels. 

Lord Howard of Effingham, as Lord High Ad- 
miral of England, was charged with the defence 
at sea. It was impossible in those days to have 
any great force without some great nobleman in 
charge of it, because the people still looked on such 
men as their natural viceroys and commanders. 
But just as Sir John Norreys, the most expert pro- 
fessional soldier in England, was made Chief of the 
Staff to the Earl of Leicester ashore, so Drake was 
made Chief of the Staff to Howard afloat, which 
meant that he was the brain of the fleet. 

A directing brain was sadly needed — not that 
brains were lacking, but that some one man of 



DRAKE AND THE SPANISH ARMADA 177 

original and creative genius was required to bring 
the modern naval system into triumphant being. 
Like all political heads, Elizabeth was sensitive 
to public opinion; and public opinion was ignorant 
enough to clamor for protection by something that 
a man could see; besides which there were all those 
weaklings who have been described as the old 
women of both sexes and all ages, and who have 
always been the nuisance they are still. Adding 
together the old views of warfare, which nearly 
everybody held, and the human weaknesses we 
have always with us, there was a most dangerously 
strong public opinion in favor of dividing up the 
navy so as to let enough different places actually 
see that they had some visible means of divided 
defence. 

The 30th of March, 1588, is the day of days to be 
remembered in the history of sea power because it 
was then that Drake, writing from Plymouth to 
the Queen-in-Council, first formulated the true 
doctrine of modern naval warfare, especially the 
cardinal principle that the best of all defence is to 
attack your enemy's main fleet as it issues from its 
ports. This marked the birth of the system per- 
fected by Nelson and thence passed on, with many 
new developments, to the British Grand Fleet in 



178 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

the Great War of to-day. The first step was by 
far the hardest, for Drake had to convert the Queen 
and Howard to his own revolutionary views. He 
at last succeeded; and on the 7th of July sailed for 
Corunna, where the Armada had rendezvoused 
after being dispersed by a storm. 

Every man afloat knew that the hour had come. 
Yet Elizabeth, partly on the score of expense, 
partly not to let Drake snap her apron-strings 
completely, had kept the supply of food and even 
of ammunition very short; so much so that Drake 
knew he would have to starve or else replenish from 
the Spanish fleet itself. As he drew near Corunna 
on the 8th, the Spaniards were again reorganizing. 
Hundreds of perfectly useless landlubbers, shipped 
at Lisbon to complete the absurdly undermanned 
ships, were being dismissed at Corunna. On the 
9th, when Sidonia assembled a council of war to 
decide whether to put to sea or not, the English 
van was almost in sight of the coast. But then 
the north wind flawed, failed, and at last chopped 
round. A roaring sou'wester came on; and the 
great strategic move was over. 

On the 12th the fleet was back in Plymouth 
replenishing as hard as it could. Howard behaved 
to perfection. Drake worked the strategy and 



DRAKE AND THE SPANISH ARMADA 179 

tactics. But Howard had to set the tone, afloat 
and ashore, to all who came within his sphere of 
influence; and right well he set it. His dispatches 
at this juncture are models of what such documents 
should be; and their undaunted confidence is in 
marked contrast to what the doomed Spanish 
officers were writing at the selfsame time. 

The southwest wind that turned Drake back 
brought the Armada out and gave it an advantage 
which would have been fatal to England had the 
fleets been really equal, or the Spaniards in superior 
strength, for a week was a very short time in which 
to replenish the stores that Elizabeth had pur- 
posely kept so low. Drake and Howard, so the 
story goes, were playing a game of bowls on Ply- 
mouth Hoe on Friday afternoon the 19th of July 
when Captain Fleming of the Golden Hind rushed 
up to say the Spanish fleet was off the Lizard, only 
sixty miles away! All eyes turned to Drake. 
Divining the right way to calm the people, he 
whispered an order and then said out loud: 
'There's time to end our game and beat the Span- 
iards too. ' The shortness of food and ammimition 
that had compelled him to come back instead of 
waiting to blockade now threatened to get him 
nicely caught in the very trap he had wished to 



180 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

catch the Great Armada in himself; for the Span- 
iards, coming up with the wind, might catch him 
strugghng out against the wind and crush his long 
emerging column, bit by bit, precisely as he had 
intended crushing their own column as it issued 
from the Tagus or Corunna. 

But it was only the van that Fleming had sighted. 
Many a Spanish straggler was still hull-down 
astern; and Sidonia had to wait for all to close and 
form up properly. 

Meanwhile Drake and Howard were straining 
every nerve to get out of Plymouth. It was not 
their fault, but the Queen's-in-Council, that 
Sidonia had unwittingly stolen this march on them. 
It was their glory that they won the lost advant- 
age back again. All afternoon and evening, all 
through that summer night, the sea-dog crews were 
warping out of harbor. Torches, flares, and cres- 
sets threw their fitful light on toiling lines of men 
hauling on ropes that moved the ships apparently 
like snails. But once in Plymouth Sound the 
whinnying sheaves and long yo-hoes 1 told that all 
the sail the ships could carry was being made for a 
life-or-death eflFort to win the weather gage. Thus 
beat the heart of naval England that momentous 
night in Plymouth Sound, while beacons blazed 



DRAKE AND THE SPANISH ARMADA 181 

from height to height ashore, horsemen spurred off 
post-haste with orders and dispatches, and every 
able-bodied landsman stood to arms. 

Next morning Drake was in the Channel, near 
the Eddystone, with fifty-four sail, when he sighted 
a dim blur to windward through the thickening 
mist and drizzling rain. This was the Great 
Armada. Rain came on and killed the wind. All 
sail was taken in aboard the English fleet, which 
lay under bare poles, invisible to the Spaniards, 
who still announced their presence with some show 
of canvas. 

In actual size and numbers the Spaniards were 
superior at first. But as the week-long running 
fight progressed the English evened up with re- 
inforcements. Spanish vessels looked bigger than 
their tonnage, being high built; and Spanish official 
reports likewise exaggerated the size because their 
system of measurement made their three tons equal 
to an English four. In armament and seamen- 
gunners the English were perhaps five times as 
strong as the Armada — and seamen-gunners 
won the day. The English seamen greatly out- 
numbered the Spanish seamen, utterly surpassed 
them in seamanship, and enjoyed the further ad- 
vantage of having far handier vessels to work. 



182 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

The Spanish grand total, for all ranks and ratings, 
was thirty thousand men; the English, only fifteen. 
But the Spaniards were six thousand short on 
arrival; and their actual seamen, many of whom 
were only half-trained, then numbered a bare 
seven thousand. The seventeen thousand soldiers 
only made the ships so many death-traps; for they 
were of no use afloat except as boarding parties — 
and no boarding whatever took place. The Eng- 
lish fifteen thousand, on the other hand, were 
three-quarters seamen and one-quarter soldiers who 
were mostly trained as marines, and this total was 
actually present. On the whole, it is hardly an 
exaggeration to say that the Armada was mostly 
composed of armed transports while all the English 
vessels that counted in the fighting were real men- 
of-war. 

In every one of the Armada's hundred and 
twenty-eight vessels, says an officer of the Spanish 
flagship, 'our people kneeled down and offered 
a prayer, beseeching our Lord to give us victory 
against the enemies of His holy faith.' The 
crews of the hundred and ninety-seven English 
vessels which, at one time or another, were present 
in some capacity on the scene of action also prayed 
for victory to the Lord of Hosts, but took the 



DRAKE AND THE SPANISH ARMADA 183 

proper naval means to win it. 'Trust in the Lord 
— and keep your powder dry, ' said Oliver Crom- 
well when about to ford a river in the presence of 
the enemy. And so, in other words, said Drake. 
All day long, on that fateful 20th of July, the 
visible Armada with its swinging canvas was lying- 
to fifteen miles west of the invisible, bare-masted 
English fleet. Sidonia held a council of war, 
which, landsman-like, believed that the English 
were divided, one-half watching Parma, the other 
the Armada. The trained soldiers and sailors 
were for the sound plan of attacking Plymouth 
first. Some admirals even proposed the only per- 
fect plan of crushing Drake in detail as he issued 
from the Sound. All were in blissful ignorance of 
the astounding feat of English seamanship which 
had already robbed them of the only chance they 
ever had. But Philip, also landsman-like, had 
done his best to thwart his own Armada; for 
Sidonia produced the royal orders forbidding any 
attack on England till he and Parma had joined 
hands. Drake, however, might be crushed piece- 
meal in the offing when still with his aftermost 
ships in the Sound. So, with this true idea, un- 
workable because based on false information, the 
generals and admirals dispersed to their vessels and 



184 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

waited. But then, just as night was closing in, 
the weather lifted enough to reveal Drake's aston- 
ishing position. Immediately pinnaces went scur- 
rying to Sidonia for orders. But he had none to 
give. At one in the morning he learnt some more 
dumbfounding news: that the English had nearly 
caught him at Corunna, that Drake and Howard 
had joined forces, and that both were now before 
him. 

Nor was even this the worst. For while the dis- 
tracted Sidonia was getting his fleet into the 'eagle 
formation,' so suitable for galleys whose only 
fighting men were soldiers, the English fleet was 
stealing the weather gage, his one remaining 
natural advantage. An English squadron of 
eight sail manoeuvred coast-wise on the Armada's 
inner flank, while, unperceived by the Spanish 
lookout, Drake stole away to sea, beat round its 
outer flank, and then, making the most of a west- 
erly slant in the shifting breeze, edged in to star- 
board. The Spaniards saw nothing till it was too 
late, Drake having given them a berth just wide 
enough to keep them quiet. But when the sun 
rose, there, only a few miles off to windward, was 
the whole main body of the English fleet, coming 
on in faultless line-ahead, heeling nicely over on the 



DRAKE AND THE SPANISH ARMADA 185 

port tack before the freshening breeze, and, far 
from waiting for the Great Armada, boldly bearing 
down to the attack. With this consummate move 
the victory was won. 

The rest was slaughter, borne by the Spaniards 
with a resolution that nothing could surpass. 
With dauntless tenacity they kept their 'eagle 
formation,' so useful at Lepanto, through seven 
dire days of most one-sided fighting. Whenever 
occasion seemed to offer, the Spaniards did their 
best to close, to grapple, and to board, as had their 
heroes at Lepanto. But the English merely 
laughed, ran in, just out of reach, poured in a 
shattering broadside between wind and water, 
stood off to reload, fired again, with equal ad- 
vantage, at longer range, caught the slow galleons 
end-on, raked them from stem to stern, passed to 
and fro in one, long, deadly line-ahead, concentrat- 
ing at will on any given target; and did all this 
with weU-nigh perfect safety to themselves. In 
quite a different way close-to, but to the same effect 
at either distance, long or short, the English 'had 
the range of them,' as sailors say to-day. Close- 
to, the little Spanish guns fired much too high to 
hull the English vessels, lying low and trim upon 
the water, with whose changing humors their lines 



186 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

fell in so much more happily than those of any 
lumbering Spaniards could. Far-off, the little 
Spanish guns did correspondingly small damage, 
even when they managed to hit; while the heavy 
metal of the English, handled by real seamen- 
gunners, inflicted crushing damage in return. 

But even more important than the Englishmen's 
superiority in rig, hull, armament, and expert 
seamanship was their tactical use of the thor- 
oughly modern line-ahead. Any one who will take 
the letter T as an illustration can easily imderstand 
the advantage of 'crossing his T.' The upright 
represents an enemy caught when in column-ahead, 
as he would be, for instance, when issuing from a 
narrow-necked port. In this formation he can 
only use bow fire, and that only in succession, on a 
very narrow front. But the fleet represented by 
the crosspiece, moving across the point of the up- 
right, is in the deadly line-ahead, with all its near 
broadsides turned in one long converging line of 
fire against the helplessly narrow-fronted enemy. 
If the enemy, sticking to mediaeval tactics, had 
room to broaden his front by forming column- 
abreast, as galleys always did, that is, with several 
uprights side by side, he would still be at the same 
sort of disadvantage; for this would only mean a 



DRAKE AND THE SPANISH ARMADA 18T 

series of T's with each nearest broadside crossing 
each opposing upright as before. 

The herded soldiers and non-combatants aboard 
the Great Armada stood by their useless duties to 
the last. Thousands fell killed or wounded. 
Several times the Spanish scuppers actually ran a 
horrid red, as if the very ships were bleeding. The 
priests behaved as bravely as the Jesuits of New 
France — and who could be braver than those un- 
daunted missionaries were? Soldiers and sailors 
were alike. 'What shall we do now?' asked 
Sidonia after the slaughter had gone on for a week. 
'Order up more powder,' said Oquendo, as daunt- 
less as before. Even then the eagle formation was 
still kept up. The van ships were the head. The 
biggest galleons formed the body. Lighter vessels 
formed the wings. A reserve formed the tail. 

As the unflinching Armada stood slowly up the 
Channel a sail or two would drop out by the way, 
dead-beat. One night several strange sail passed 
suddenly by Drake. What should he do? To go 
about and follow them with all astern of him doing 
the same in succession was not to be thought of, as 
his aftermost vessels were merchantmen, wholly 
imtrained to the exact combined manoeuvres re- 
quired in a fighting fleet, though first-rate Individ- 



188 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

ually. There was then no night signal equivalent 
to the modern 'Disregard the flagship's move- 
ments.' So Drake dowsed his stern light, went 
about, overhauled the strangers, and found they 
were bewildered German merchantmen. He had 
just gone about once more to resume his own sta- 
tion when suddenly a Spanish flagship loomed up 
beside his own flagship the Revenge. Drake im- 
mediately had his pinnace lowered away to demand 
instant surrender. But the Spanish admiral was 
Don Pedro de Valdes, a very gallant commander 
and a very proud grandee, who demanded terms; 
and, though his flagship (which had been in colli- 
sion with a run-amuck) seemed likely to sink, he 
was quite ready to go down fighting. Yet the 
moment he heard that his summoner was Drake he 
surrendered at discretion, feeling it a personal 
honor, according to the ideas of the age, to yield 
his sword to the greatest seaman in the world. 
With forty officers he saluted Drake, compliment- 
ing him on ' valour and felicity so great that Mars 
and Neptune seemed to attend him, as also on his 
generosity towards the fallen foe, a quality often 
experienced by the Spaniards; whereupon,' adds 
this eyewitness, 'Sir Francis Drake, requiting his 
Spanish compliments with honest English courte- 



DRAKE AND THE SPANISH ARMADA 189 

sies, placed him at his own table and lodged him 
in his own cabin. ' Drake's enemies at home ac- 
cused him of having deserted his fleet to capture 
a treasure ship — for there was a good deal of gold 
with Valdes. But the charge was quite unfounded. 
A very different charge against Howard had 
more foundation. The Armada had anchored at 
Calais to get its breath before running the gauntlet 
for the last time and joining Parma in the Nether- 
lands. But in the dead of night, when the flood 
was making and a strong west wind was blowing in 
the same direction as the swirling tidal stream, nine 
English fire-ships suddenly burst into flame and 
made for the Spanish anchorage. There were no 
boats ready to grapple the fire-ships and tow them 
clear. There was no time to weigh; for every 
vessel had two anchors down. Sidonia, enraged 
that the boats were not out on patrol, gave the 
order for the whole fleet to cut their cables and 
make off for their lives. As the great lumbering 
hulls, which had of course been riding head to wind, 
swung round in the dark and confusion, several 
crashing collisions occurred. Next morning the 
Armada was strung along the Flemish coast in dis- 
orderly flight. Seeing the impossibility of bring- 
ing the leewardly vessels back against the wind in 



190 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

time to form up, Sidonia ran down with the wind- 
ward ones and formed farther off. Howard then 
led in pursuit. But seeing the capitana of the 
renowned Italian galleasses in distress near Calais, 
he became a mediaeval knight again, left his fleet, 
and took the galleasse. For the moment that one 
feather in his cap seemed better worth having than 
a general victory. 

Drake forged ahead and led the pursuit in turn. 
The Spaniards fought with desperate courage, still 
suffering ghastly losses. But, do what they could 
to bear up against the English and the wind, they 
were forced to leeward of Dunkirk, and so out of 
touch with Parma. This was the result of the 
Battle of Gravelines, fought on Monday the 29th 
of July, 1588, just ten days after Captain Fleming 
had rushed on to the bowling green of Plymouth 
Hoe where Drake and Howard, their shore work 
done, were playing a game before embarking. In 
those ten days the gallant Armada had lost all 
chance of winning the overlordship of the sea and 
shaking the sea-dog grip off both Americas. A 
rising gale now forced it to choose between getting 
pounded to death on the shoals of Dunkirk or 
running north, through that North Sea in which 
the British Grand Fleet of the twentieth century 



DRAKE AND THE SPANISH ARMADA 191 

fought against the fourth attempt in modern times 
to win a world-dominion. 

North, and still north, round by the surf -lashed 
Orkneys, then down the wild west coasts of the 
Hebrides and Ireland, went the forlorn Armada, 
losing ships and men at every stage, until at last 
the remnant straggled into Spanish ports like the 
mere wreckage of a storm. 



CHAPTER X 

'the one and the fiftt-thkee' 

The next year, 1589, is famous for the unsuc- 
cessful Lisbon Expedition. Drake had the usual 
troubles with Elizabeth, who wanted him to 
go about picking leaves and breaking branches 
before laying the axe to the root of the tree. 
Though there were in the Narrow Seas defensive 
squadrons strong enough to ward oflF any possible 
blow, yet the nervous landsmen wanted Corunna 
and other ports attacked and their shipping de- 
stroyed, for fear England should be invaded before 
Drake could strike his blow at Lisbon. Then 
there were troubles about stores and ammunition. 
The English fleet had been reduced to the last 
pound of powder twice during the ten-days' battle 
with the Armada. Yet Elizabeth was again 
alarmed at the expense of munitions. She never 
quite rose to the idea of one supreme and finishing 
blow, no matter what the cost might be. 

192 



'THE ONE AND THE FIFTY-THREE" 193 

This was a joint expedition, the first in which a 
really modern English fleet and army had ever 
taken part, with Sir John Norreys in command of 
the army. There was no trouble about recruits, 
for all men of spirit flocked in to follow Drake and 
Norreys. The fleet was perfectly organized into 
appropriate squadrons and flotillas, such as then 
corresponded with the battleships, cruisers, and 
mosquito craft of modern navies. The army was 
organized into battalions and brigades, with a 
regular staff and all the proper branches of the 
service. 

The fleet made for Corunna, where Norreys won 
a brilliant victory. A curious little incident of 
exact punctiho is worth recording. After the 
battle, and when the fleet was waiting for a fair 
wind to get out of the harbor, the ships were much 
annoyed by a battery on the heights. Norreys 
undertook to storm the works and sent in the usual 
summons by a parlementaire accompanied by a 
drummer. An angry Spaniard fired from the walls 
and the drummer fell dead. The English had 
hostages on whom to take reprisals. But the 
Spaniards were too quick for them. Within ten 
minutes the guilty man was tried inside the fort 
by drum-head court-martial, condemned to death. 



194 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

and swung out neatly from the walls, while a polite 
Spanish officer came over to assure the English 
troops that such a breach of discipline should not 
occur again. 

Lisbon was a failure. The troops landed and 
marched over the ground north of Lisbon where 
Wellington in a later day made works whose fame 
has caused their memory to become an allusion in 
English literature for any impregnable base — the 
Lines of Torres Vedras. The fleet and the army 
now lost touch with each other; and that was the 
ruin of them all. Norreys was persuaded by Don 
Antonio, pretender to the throne of Portugal which 
Philip had seized, to march farther inland, where 
Portuguese patriots were said to be ready to rise 
en masse. This Antonio was a great talker and a 
first-rate fighter with his tongue. But his Por- 
tuguese followers, also great talkers, wanted to see 
a victory won by arms before they rose. 

Before leaving Lisbon Drake had one stroke of 
good luck. A Spanish convoy brought in a Han- 
seatic Dutch and German fleet of merchantmen 
loaded down with contraband of war destined for 
Philip's new Armada. Drake swooped on it 
immediately and took sixty well-found ships. 
Then he went west to the Azores, looking for what 



'THE ONE AND THE FIFTY-THREE' 195 

he called ' some comfortable little dew of Heaven, ' 
that is, of course, more prizes of a richer kind. 
But sickness broke out. The men died off like 
flies. Storms completed the discomfiture. And 
the expedition got home with a great deal less than 
half its strength in men and not enough in value 
to pay for its expenses. It was held to have failed; 
and Drake lost favor. 

With the sun of Drake's glory in eclipse at court 
and with Spain and England resting from warfare 
on the grander scale, there were no more big battles 
the following year. But the year after that, 1591, 
is rendered famous in the annals of the sea by Sir 
Richard Grenville's fight in Drake's old flagship, 
the Revenge. This is the immortal battle of 'the 
one and the fifty-three' from which Raleigh's 
prose and Tennyson's verse have made a glory of 
the pen fit to match the glory of the sword. 

Grenville had sat, with Drake and Sir Philip 
Sidney, on the Parliamentary committee which 
recommended the royal charter granted to Sir 
Walter Raleigh for the founding of the first English 
colony in what is now the United States. Grenville's 
grandfather. Marshal of Calais to Henry VIH, 
had the faculty of rhyme, and, in a set of verses 



196 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

very popular in their own day, showed what the 
Granville family ambitions were. 

Who seeks the way to win renown. 
Or flies with wings to high desire, 
Who seeks to wear the laurel crown, 
Or hath the mind that would aspire — 
Let him his native soil eschew, 
Let him go range and seek a new. 

Grenville himself was a wild and roving blade, 
no great commander, but an adventurer of the 
most daring kind by land or sea. He rather en- 
joyed the consternation he caused by aping the 
airs of a pirate king. He had a rough way with 
him at all times; and Ralph Lane was much set 
against his being the commander of the 'Virginia 
Voyage' of which Lane himself was the governor on 
land. But in action he always was, beyond a 
doubt, the very beau idSal of a 'first-class fighting 
man.' A striking instance of his methods was 
afforded on his return from Virginia, when he 
found an armed Spanish treasure ship ahead of him 
at sea. He had no boat to board her with. But he 
knocked some sort of one together out of the ship's 
chests and sprang up the Spaniard's side with his 
boarding party just as this makeshift boat was 
sinking under them. 



'THE ONE AND THE FIFTY-THREE' 197 

The last fight of the Revenge is almost incredible 
from the odds engaged — fifty-three vessels to one. 
But it is true; and neither Raleigh's glowing prose 
nor Tennyson's glowing verse exaggerates it. 
Lord Thomas Howard, 'almost famished for want 
of prey,' had been cruising in search of treasure 
ships when Captain Middleton, one of the gentle- 
men-adventurers who followed the gallant Earl 
of Cumberland, came in to warn him that Don 
Alonzo de Bazan was following with fifty-three 
sail. The English crews were partly ashore at 
the Azores; and Howard had barely time to bring 
them oflF, cut his cables, and work to windward 
of the overwhelming Spaniards. 

GrenvUle's men were last. The Revenge had only 
'her hundred fighters on deck and her ninety sick 
below' when the Spanish fleet closed round him. 
Yet, just as he had sworn to cut down the first man 
who touched a sail when the master thought there 
was still a chance to slip through, so now he refused 
to surrender on any terms at all. Then, running 
down close-hauled on the starboard tack, decks 
cleared for action and crew at battle quarters, he 
steered right between two divisions of the Spanish 
fleet till 'the mountain-like San Felipe, of fifteen 
himdred tons,' ranging up on his weather side, 



198 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

blanketed his canvas and left Mm almost becalmed. 
Immediately the vessels which the Revenge had 
weathered hauled their wind and came up on her 
from to-leeward. Then, at three o'clock in the 
afternoon of the 1st of September, 1591, that im- 
mortal fight began. 

The first broadside from the Revenge took the 
San Felipe on the water-line and forced her to 
give way and stop her leaks. Then two Spaniards 
ranged up in her place, while two more kept sta- 
tion on the other side. And so the desperate fight 
went on all through that afternoon and evening and 
far on into the night. Meanwhile Howard, still 
keeping the weather gage, attacked the Spaniards 
from the rear and thought of trying to cut through 
them. But his sailing master swore it would be 
the end of all Her Majesty's ships engaged, as it 
probably would; so he bore away, wisely or not as 
critics may judge for themselves. One vessel, the 
little George Noble of London, a victualler, stood by 
the Revenge, offering help before the fight began. 
But GrenviUe, thanking her gallant skipper, or- 
dered him to save his vessel by following Howard. 

With never less than one enemy on each side of 
her, the Revenge fought furiously on. Boarders 
away! shouted the Spanish colonels as the ves- 



'THE ONE AND THE FIFTY-THREE' 199 

sels closed. Repel boarders! shouted Granville in 
reply. And they did repel them, time and again, 
till the English pikes dripped red with Spanish 
blood. A few Spaniards gained the deck, only to 
be shot, stabbed, or slashed to death. Towards 
midnight Grenville was hit in the body by a 
musket-shot fired from the tops — the same sort of 
shot that killed Nelson. The surgeon was killed 
while dressing the wound, and Grenville was hit in 
the head. But still the fight went on. The 
Revenge had aheady sunk two Spaniards, a third 
sank afterwards, and a fourth was beached to save 
her. But Grenville would not hear of surrender. 
When day broke not ten unwounded Englishmen 
remained. The pikes were broken. The powder 
was spent. The whole deck was a wild entangle- 
ment of masts, spars, sails, and rigging. The 
undaunted survivors stood dumb as their silent 
cannon. But every Spanish hull in the whole en- 
circling ring of death bore marks of the Revenge's 
rage. Foxir hundred Spaniards, by their own ad- 
mission, had been killed, and quite six hundred 
wounded. One hundred Englishmen had thus 
accounted for a thousand Spaniards besides all 
those that sank! 

Grenville now gave his last order : ' Sink me the 



200 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

ship, Master-Gunner!' But the sailing master 
and flag-captain, both wounded, protesting that 
all lives should be saved to avenge the dead, 
manned the only remaining boat and made good 
terms with the Spanish admiral. Then Grenville 
was taken very carefully aboard Don Bazan's 
flagship, where he was received with every possible 
mark of admiration and respect. Don Bazan gave 
him his own cabin. The staff surgeon dressed his 
many wounds. The Spanish captains and military 
oflScers stood hat in hand, 'wondering at his cour- 
age and stout heart, for that he showed not any 
signs of faintness nor changing of his colour.' 
Grenville spoke Spanish very well and handsomely 
acknowledged the compliments they paid him. 
Then, gathering his ebbing strength for one last 
effort, he addressed them in words they have re- 
ligiously recorded: ' "Here die I, Richard Grenville, 
with a joyful and quiet mind; for that I have 
ended my life as a true soldier ought to do, that 
hath fought for his country, queen, religion, and 
honour. Wherefore my soul most joyfully de- 
parteth out of this body." . . . And when he had 
said these and other suchlike words he gave up 
the ghost with a great and stout courage. ' 

Grenville's latest wish was that the Revenge and 



'THE ONE AND THE FIFTY-THREE' 201 

he should die together; and, though he knew it not, 
he had this wish fulfilled. For, two weeks later, 
when Don Bazan had collected nearly a hundred 
more sail around him for the last stage home from 
the West Indies, a cyclone such as no living man 
remembered burst full on the crowded fleet. Not 
even the Great Armada lost more vessels than Don 
Bazan did in that wreck-engulfing week. No less 
than seventy went down. And with them sank 
the shattered Revenge, beside her own heroic dead. 

Drake might be out of favor at court. The 
Queen might grumble at the sad extravagance of 
fleets. Diplomats might talk of untying Gordian 
knots that the sword was made to cut. Courtiers 
and politicians might wonder with which side to 
curry favor when it was an issue between two par- 
ties — peace or war. The great mass of ordinary 
landsmen might wonder why the * sea-affair' was 
a thing they could not understand. But all this 
was only the mint and cummin of imperial things 
compared with the exalting deeds that Drake had 
done. For, once the English sea-dogs had shown 
the way to all America by breaking down the bar- 
riers of Spain, England had ceased to be merely an 
island in a northern sea and had become the mother 



202 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

country of such an empire and republic as 
neither record nor tradition can show the like of 
elsewhere. 

And England felt the triumph. She thrilled 
with pregnant joy. Poet and proseman both 
gave voice to her delight. Hear this new note of 
exultation born of England's victory on the 
sea: 

As God hath combined the sea and land into one 
globe, so their mutual assistance is necessary to secular 
happiness and glory. The sea covereth one-half of 
this patrimony of man. Thus should man at once 
lose the half of his inheritance if the art of navigation 
did not enable him to manage this untamed beast; 
and with the bridle of the winds and the saddle of his 
shipping make him serviceable. Now for the services 
of the sea, they are innumerable: it is the great pur- 
veyor of the world's commodities; the conveyor of the 
excess of rivers; uniter, by traffique, of all nations; it 
presents the eye with divers colors and motions, and 
is, as it were with rich brooches, adorned with many 
islands. It is an open field for merchandise in peace; 
a pitched field for the most dreadful fights in war; 
yields diversity of fish and fowl for diet, material 
for wealth; medicine for sickness; pearls and jewels for 
adornment; the wonders of the Lord in the deep for 
all instruction; multiplicity of nature for contemplation; 
to the thirsty Earth fertile moisture; to distant friends 
pleasant meeting; to weary persons delightfid refresh- 



'THE ONE AND THE FIFTY-THREE' 203 

ing; to studious minds a map of knowledge, a school 
of prayer, meditation, devotion, and sobriety; refuge 
to the distressed, portage to the merchant, customs to 
the prince, passage to the traveller; springs, lakes, and 
rivers to the Earth. It hath tempests and calms to 
chastise sinners and exercise the faith of seamen; 
manifold affections to stupefy the subtlest philosopher, 
maintaineth (as in Our Island) a wall of defence and 
watery garrison to guard the state. It entertains the 
Sun with vapors, the Stars with a natural looking- 
glass, the sky with clouds, the air with temperateness, 
the soil with suppleness, the rivers with tides, the hills, 
with moisture, the valleys with fertility. But why 
should I longer detain you? The Sea yields action to 
the body, meditation to the mind, and the World to 
the World, by this art of arts — Navigation. 

Well might this pious Englishman, the Reverend 
Samuel Purchas, exclaim with David: Thy ways 
are in the Sea, and Thy paths in the great waters, 
and Thy footsteps are not known. 

The poets sang of Drake and England, too. 
Could his 'Encompassment of All the Worlde' 
be more happily admired than in these four short 
lines : 

The Stars of Heaven would thee proclaim 

If men here silent were. 
The Sun himself could not forget 

His fellow traveller. 



204 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

What wonder that after Nombre de Dios and 
the Pacific, the West Indies and the Spanish Main, 
Cadiz and the Armada, what wonder, after this, 
that Shakespeare, English to the core, rings out: — 

This royal throne of kings, this sceptred isle, 

This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars, 

This other Eden, demi-paradise; 

This fortress built by nature for herself 

Against infection and the hand of war; 

This happy breed of men, this little world; 

This precious stone set in the silver sea. 

Which serves it in the office of a wall. 

Or as a moat defensive to a house. 

Against the envy of less happy lands: 

This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England. 

This England never did, nor never shall. 

Lie at the proud foot of a conqueror. 

But when it first did help to wound itself. 

Now these her princes are come home again. 

Come the three corners of the world in arms 

And we shall shock them. Nought shall make us rue, 

If England to herself do rest but true. 



CHAPTER XI 

RALEIGH AND THE VISION OP THE WEST 

Conquerors first, prospectors second, then the 
pioneers: that is the order of those by whom 
America was opened up for English-speaking peo- 
ple. No Ehzabethan colonies took root. There- 
fore the age of Elizabethan sea-dogs was one of 
conquerors and prospectors, not one of pioneering 
colonists at all. 

Spain and Portugal alone founded sixteenth- 
century colonies that have had a continuous life 
from those days to our own. Virginia and New 
England, like New France, only began as perma- 
nent settlements after Drake and Queen Elizabeth 
were dead: Virginia in 1607, New France in 1608, 
New England in 1620. 

It is true that Drake and his sea-dogs were pros- 
pectors in their way. So were the soldiers, gentle- 
men-adventurers, and fighting traders in theirs. 
On the other hand, some of the prospectors them- 

205 



206 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

selves belong to the class of conquerors, while 
many would have gladly been the pioneers of 
permanent colonies. Nevertheless the prospect- 
ors form a separate class; and Sir Walter Raleigh, 
though an adventurer in every other way as well, 
is undoubtedly their chief. His colonies failed. 
He never found his El Dorado. He died a ruined 
and neglected man. But still he was the chief of 
those whom we can only call prospectors, first, 
because they tried their fortune ashore, one step 
beyond the conquering sea-dogs, and, secondly, 
because their fortune failed them just one step 
short of where the pioneering colonists began. 

A man so various that he seemed to be 
Not one but all mankind's epitome 

is a description written about a very diflferent 
character. But it is really much more appropriate 
to Sir Walter Raleigh. Courtier and would-be 
colonizer, soldier and sailor, statesman and scholar, 
poet and master of prose, Raleigh had one ruling 
passion greater than all the rest combined. In a 
letter about America to Sir Robert Cecil, the son 
of Queen Elizabeth's principal minister of state. 
Lord Burleigh, he expressed this great determined 



THE VISION OF THE WEST 207 

purpose of his life: I shall yet live to see it an In- 
glishe nation. He had other interests in abundance, 
perhaps in superabundance; and he had much 
more than the usual temptations to live the life of 
fashion with just enough of public duty to satisfy 
both the queen and the very least that is implied 
by the motto Noblesse oblige. He was splendidly 
handsome and tall, a perfect blend of strength and 
grace, full of deep, romantic interest in great things 
far and near: the very man whom women dote on. 
And yet, through all the seductions of the Court 
and all the storm and stress of Europe, he steadily 
pursued the vision of that West which he would 
make 'an Inglishe nation.' 

He left Oxford as an undergraduate to serve the 
Huguenots in France under Admiral Coligny and 
the Protestants in Holland under William of 
Orange. Like Hawkins and Drake, he hated 
Spain with all his heart and paid off many a score 
against her by killing Spanish troops at Smerwick 
during an Irish campaign marked by ruthless 
slaughter on both sides. On his return to England 
he soon attracted the charmed attention of the 
queen. His spreading his cloak for her to tread 
on, lest she might wet her feet, is one of those 
stories which ought to be true if it's not. In any 



208 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

case he won the royal favor, was granted monopo- 
lies, promotion, and estates, and launched upon 
the full flood-stream of fortune. 

He was not yet thirty when he obtained for his 
half-brother. Sir Humphrey Gilbert, then a man of 
thirty-eight, a royal commission 'to inhabit and 
possess all remote and Heathen lands not in the 
possession of any Christian prince. ' The draft of 
Gilbert's original prospectus, dated at London, the 
6th of November, 1577, and still kept there in the 
Record Oflfice, is an appeal to Elizabeth in which he 
proposed *to discover and inhabit some strange 
place.' Gilbert was a soldier and knew what 
fighting meant; so he likewise proposed 'to set 
forth certain ships of war to the New Land, which, 
with your good licence, I will undertake without 
your Majesty's charge. . . . The New Land 
fish is a principal and rich and everywhere vendi- 
ble merchandise; and by the gain thereof shipping, 
victual, munition, and the transporting of five or 
six thousand soldiers may be defrayed. ' 

But Gilbert's associates cared nothing for fish 
and everything for gold. He went to the West 
Lidies, lost a ship, and returned without a for- 
tune. Next year he was forbidden to repeat the 
experiment. 



THE VISION OF THE WEST 209 

The project then languished until the fatal voy- 
age of 1583, when Gilbert set sail with six vessels, 
intending to occupy Newfoundland as the base 
from which to colonize southwards until an armed 
New England should meet and beat New Spain. 
How vast his scheme! How pitiful its execution! 
And yet how immeasurably beyond his wildest 
dreams the actual development to-day! Gilbert 
was not a sea-dog but a soldier with an uncanny 
reputation for being a regular Jonah who 'had no 
good hap at sea.' He was also passionately self- 
willed, and Elizabeth had doubts about the pro- 
priety of backing him. But she sent him a gilt 
anchor by way of good luck and off he went in 
June, financed chiefly by Raleigh, whose name was 
given to the flagship. 

Gilbert's adventure never got beyond its base 
in Newfoimdland. His ship the Delight was 
wrecked. The crew of the Raleigh mutinied and 
ran her home to England. The other four vessels 
held on. But the men, for the most part, were 
neither good soldiers, good sailors, nor yet good 
colonists, but ne'er-do-wells and desperadoes. By 
September the expedition was returning broken 
down. Gilbert, furious at the sailors' hints that he 
was just a little sea-shy, would persist in sticking 
14 



210 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

to the Lilliputian ten-ton Squirrel, which was woe- 
fully top-hampered with guns and stores. Before 
leaving Newfotindland he was implored to aban- 
don her and bring her crew aboard a bigger craft. 
But no. 'Do not fear,' he answered; 'we are as 
near to Heaven by sea as land. ' One wild night 
off the Azores the Squirrel foundered with all 
hands. 

Amadas and Barlow sailed in 1584. Pros- 
pecting for Sir Walter Raleigh, they discovered 
several harbors in North Carolina, then part of the 
vast 'plantation' of Virginia. Roanoke Island, 
Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds, as well as the in- 
tervening waters, were all explored with enthusi- 
astic thoroughness and zeal. Barlow, a skipper 
who was handy with his pen, described the scent 
of that fragrant summer land in terms which 
attracted the attention of Bacon at the time and of 
Dryden a century later. The royal charter au- 
thorizing Raleigh to take what he could find in this 
strange land had a clause granting his prospective 
colonists 'all the privileges of free denizens and 
persons native of England in such ample manner as 
if they were born and personally resident in our 
said realm of England. ' 

Next year Sir Richard Grenville, who was 



THE VISION OF THE WEST 211 

Raleigh's cousin, convoyed out to Roanoke the 
Uttle colony which Ralph Lane governed and 
which, as we have seen in an earlier chapter, Drake 
took home discomfited in 1586. There might have 
been a story to tell of successful colonization, in- 
stead of failure, if Drake had kept away from 
Roanoke that year or if he had tarried a few days 
longer. For no sooner had the colony departed in 
Drake's vessels than a ship sent out by Sir Walter 
Raleigh, 'freighted with all maner of things in 
most plentiful maner,' arrived at Roanoke; and 
'after some time spent in seeking our Colony up 
in the countrey, and not finding them, returned 
with all the aforesayd provision into England.' 
About a fortnight later Sir Richard Grenville 
himself arrived with three ships. Not wishing to 
lose possession of the country where he had planted 
a colony the year before, he 'landed fifteene men 
in the Isle of Roanoak, furnished plentifully with 
all maner of provision for two yeeres, and so de- 
parted for England.' Grenville unfortunately 
had burnt an Indian town and all its standing corn 
because the Indians had stolen a silver cup. Lane, 
too, had been severe in dealing with the natives and 
they had turned from friends to foes. These and 
other facts were carefully recorded on the spot by 



212 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

the official chronicler, Thomas Harriot, better 
known as a mathematician. 

Among the captains who had come out under 
Grenville in 1585 was Thomas Cavendish, a young 
and daring gentleman-adventurer, greatly dis- 
tinguished as such even in that adventurous age, 
and the second English leader to circumnavigate 
the globe. When Drake was taking Lane's men 
home in June, 1586, Cavendish was making the 
final preparations for a two-year voyage. He 
sailed mostly along the route marked out by Drake, 
and many of his adventures were of much the same 
kind. His prime object was to make the voyage 
pay a handsome dividend. But he did notable 
service in clipping the wings of Spain. He raided 
the shipping off Chile and Peru, took the Spanish 
flagship, the famous Santa Anna, off the coast of 
California, and on his return home in 1588 had the 
satisfaction of reporting: 'I burned and sank nine- 
teen sail of ships, both small and great; and all 
the villages and towns that ever I landed at I 
burned and spoiled. ' 

While Cavendish was preying on Spanish treas- 
ure in America, and Drake was ' singeing the King 
of Spain's beard' in Europe, Raleigh still pursued 
his colonizing plans. In 1587 John White and 



THE VISION OF THE WEST 213 

twelve associates received incorporation as the 
'Governor and Assistants of the City of Ralegh 
in Virginia. ' The fortunes of this ambitious city 
were not unhke those of many another 'boomed' 
and 'busted' city of much more recent date. No 
time was lost in beginning. Three ships arrived 
at Roanoke on the 22nd of July, 1587. Every 
effort was made to find the fifteen men left behind 
the year before by Grenville to hold possession for 
the Queen. Mounds of earth, which may even 
now be traced, so piously have their last remains 
been cared for, marked the site of the fort. From 
natives of Croatoan Island the newcomers learned 
that Grenville's men had been murdered by hostile 
Indians. 

One native friend was found in Manteo, a chief 
whom Barlow had taken to England and Grenville 
had brought back. Manteo was now living with 
his own tribe of sea-coast Indians on Croatoan 
Island. But the mischief between red and white 
had been begun; and though Manteo had been 
baptized and was recognized as 'The Lord of 
Roanoke' the races were becoming fatally es- 
tranged. 

After a month Governor White went home for 
more men and supplies, leaving most of the colo- 



214 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

nists at Roanoke. He found Elizabeth, Raleigh, 
and the rest all working to meet the Great Armada. 
Yet, even during the following year, the momen- 
tous year of 1588, Raleigh managed to spare two 
pinnaces, with fifteen colonists aboard, well pro- 
vided with all that was most needed. A Spanish 
squadron, however, forced both pinnaces to run 
back for their lives. After this frustrated attempt 
two more years passed before White could again 
sail for Virginia. In August, 1590, his trumpeter 
sounded all the old familiar English calls as he 
approached the little fort. No answer came. The 
colony was lost for ever. White had arranged that 
if the colonists should be obliged to move away 
they should carve the name of the new settlement 
on the fort or surrounding trees, and that if there 
was either danger or distress they should cut a 
cross above. The one word croatoan was all 
White ever found. There was no cross. White's 
beloved colony. White's favorite daughter and her 
little girl, were perhaps in hiding. But supplies 
were running short. White was a mere passenger 
on board the ship that brought him; and the crew 
were getting impatient, so impatient for 'refresh- 
ment' and a Spanish prize that they sailed past 
Croatoan, refusing to stop a single hour. 



THE VISION OF THE WEST 215 

Perhaps White learnt more than is recorded and 
was satisfied that all the colonists were dead. 
Perhaps not. Nobody knows. Only a wander- 
ing tradition comes out of that impenetrable mys- 
tery and circles round the not impossible romance 
of young Virginia Dare. Her father was one of 
White's twelve 'Assistants.' Her mother, Eleanor, 
was White's daughter. Virginia herself, the first 
of all true 'native-born' Americans, was born on 
the 18th of August, 1587. Perhaps Manteo, 'Lord 
of Roanoke,' saved the whole family whose name 
has been commemorated by that of the North 
Carolina county of Dare. Perhaps Virginia Dare 
alone survived to be an 'Indian Queen' about the 
time the first permanent Anglo-American colony 
was founded in 1607, twenty years after her birth. 
Who knows? 

These twenty sundering years, from the end of 
this abortive colony in 1587 to the beginning of the 
first permanent colony in 1607, constitute a period 
that saw the close of one age and the opening 
of another in every relation of Anglo-American 
affairs. 

Nor was it only in Anglo-American affairs that 
change was rife. 'The Honourable East India 



216 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

Company' entered upon its wonderful career. 
Shakespeare began to write his immortal plays. 
The chosen translators began their work on the 
Authorized Version of the English Bible. The 
Puritans were becoming a force within the body 
politic as well as in religion. Ulster was 'planted' 
with Englishmen and Lowland Scots. In the 
midst of all these changes the great Queen, grown 
old and very lonely, died in 160.S; and with her 
ended the glorious Tudor dynasty of England. 
James, pusillanimous and pedantic son of Darnley 
and Mary Queen of Scots, ascended the throne as 
the first of the sinister Stuarts, and, truckling to 
vindictive Spain, threw Raleigh into prison under 
suspended sentence of death. 

There was a break of no less than fifteen years in 
English efforts to colonize America. Nothing was 
tried between the last attempt at Roanoke in 1587 
and the first attempt in Massachusetts in 1602, 
when thirty-two people sailed from England with 
Bartholomew Gosnold, formerly a skipper in 
Raleigh's employ. Gosnold made straight for the 
coast of Maine, which he sighted in May. He then 
coasted south to Cape Cod. Continuing south he 
entered Buzzard's Bay, where he landed on Cutty- 
hunk Island. Here, on a little island in a lake — 



THE VISION OF THE WEST 217 

an island within an island — he built a fort round 
which the colony was expected to grow. But sup- 
plies began to run out. There was bad blood over 
the proper division of what remained. The would- 
be colonists could not agree with those who had no 
intention of staying behind. The result was that 
the entire project had to be given up. Gosnold 
sailed home with the whole disgusted crew and a 
cargo of sassafras and cedar. Such was the first 
prospecting ever done for what is now New Eng- 
land. 

The following year, 1603, just after the death of 
Queen Elizabeth, some merchant-venturers of 
Bristol sent out two vessels under Martin Bring. 
Like Gosnold, Bring first made the coast of Maine 
and then felt his way south. Unlike Gosnold, 
however, he 'bore into the great Gulfe' of Massa- 
chusetts Bay, where he took in a cargo of sassafras 
at Plymouth Harbor. But that was all the pros- 
pecting done this time. There was no attempt at 
colonizing. 

Two years later another prospector was sent out 
by a more important company. The Earl of 
Southampton and Sir Ferdinando Gorges were the 
chief promoters of this enterprise. Gorges, as 
'Lord Proprietary of the Province of Maine,' is a 



218 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

well-known character in the subsequent history 
of New England. Lord Southampton, as Shake- 
speare's only patron and greatest personal friend, 
is forever famous through the world. The chief 
prospector chosen by the company was George 
Weymouth, who landed on the coast of Maine, 
explored a little of the surrounding country, kid- 
napped five Indians, and returned to England with 
a glowing account of what he had seen. 

The cumulative effect of the three expeditions 
of Gosnold, Pring, and Weymouth was a revival 
of interest in colonization. Prominent men soon 
got together and formed two companies which were 
formally chartered by King James on the 10th of 
April, 1606. The 'first' or 'southern colony,' 
which came to be known as the London Company 
because most of its members lived there, was au- 
thorized to make its 'first plantation at any place 
upon the coast of Virginia or America between 
the four-and-thirty and one-and-forty degrees of 
latitude. ' The northern or ' second colony, ' after- 
wards called the Plymouth Company, was author- 
ized to settle any place between 38° and IS" north, 
thus overlapping both the first company to the 
south and the French to the north. 

In the summer of the same year, 1606, Henry 



THE VISION OF THE WEST 219 

Challons took two ships of the Plymouth Company 
round by the West Indies, where he was caught in 
a fog by the Spaniards. Later in the season Pring 
went out and explored 'North Virginia. ' In May, 
1607, a hundred and twenty men, under George 
Popham, started to colonize this 'North Virginia.' 
In August they landed in Maine at the mouth 
of the Kennebec, where they built a fort, some 
houses, and a pinnace. Finding themselves short 
of provisions, two-thirds of their number returned 
to England late in the same year. The remaining 
third passed a terrible winter. Popham died, and 
Raleigh Gilbert succeeded him as governor. 
When spring came all the survivors of the colony 
sailed home in the pinnace they had built and 
the enterprise was abandoned. The reports of the 
colonists, after their winter in Maine, were to the 
effect that the second or northern colony was 'not 
habitable for Englishmen. ' 

In the meantime the permanent foundation of 
the first or southern colony, the real Virginia, was 
well under way. The same number of intending 
emigrants went out, a hundred and twenty. On 
the 26th of April, 1607, 'about four a-clocke in the 
morning, wee descried the Land of Virginia: the 
same day wee entered into the Bay of Chesupioc* 



2E0 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

[Chesapeake]. Thus begins the tale of Captain 
John Smith, of the founding of Jamestown, and of 
a permanent Virginia, the first of the future United 
States. 

Now that we have seen one spot in vast America 
really become the promise of the 'Inglishe nation' 
which Raleigh had longed for, we must return once 
more to Raleigh himself as, mocked by his tantaliz- 
ing vision, he looked out on a changing world from 
his secular Mount Pisgah in the prison Tower of 
London. 

By this time he had felt both extremes of for- 
tune to the full. During the travesty of justice 
at his trial the attorney-general, having no 
soxmd argument, covered him with slanderous 
abuse. These are three of the false accusations on 
which he was condemned to death: 'Viperous 
traitor,* 'damnable atheist,' and 'spider of hell.' 
Hawkins, Drake, Frobisher, and Grenville, all 
were dead. So Raleigh, last of the great Eliza- 
bethan lions, was caged and baited for the sport 
of Spain. 

Six of his twelve years of imprisonment were 
lightened by the companionship of his wife, Eliza- 
beth Throgmorton, most beautiful of all the late 



THE VISION OF THE WEST 221 

Queen's maids of honor. Another solace was the 
History of the World, the writing of which set his 
mind free to wander forth at will although his body 
stayed behind the bars. But the contrast was too 
poignant not to wring this cry of anguish from his 
preface: 'Yet when we once come in sight of the 
Port of death, to which all winds drive us, and 
when by letting fall that fatal Anchor, which can 
never be weighed again, the navigation of this life 
takes end: Then it is, I say, that our own cogita- 
tions (those sad and severe cogitations, formerly 
beaten from us by our health and felicity) return 
again, and pay us to the uttermost for all the 
pleasing passages of our life past. ' 

At length, in the spring of 1616, Raleigh was 
released, though still unpardoned. He and his 
devoted wife immediately put all that remained 
of their fortune into a new venture. Twenty years 
before this he thought he could make 'Discovery of 
the mighty, rich, and beautiful Empire of Guiana, 
and of that great and golden city, which the Span- 
iards call El Dorado, and the natives call Manoa. ' 
Now he would go back to find the El Dorado of 
his dreams, somewhere inland, that mysterious 
Manoa among those southern Mountains of Bright 
Stones which lay behind the Spanish Main. The 



£22 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

king's cupidity was roused; and so, in 1617, 
Raleigh was commissioned as the admiral of four- 
teen sail. In November he arrived off the coast 
that guarded all the fabled wealth still lying un- 
discovered in the far recesses of the Orinocan wilds. 
Guiana, Manoa, El Dorado — the inland voices 
called him on. 

But Spaniards barred the way; and Raleigh, 
defying the instructions of the King, attacked them. 
The English force was far too weak and disaster 
followed. Raleigh's son and heir was killed and 
his lieutenant committed suicide. His men began 
to mutiny. Spanish troops and ships came closing 
in; and the forlorn remnant of the expedition on 
which such hopes were built went straggling home 
to England. There Raleigh was arrested and 
sent to the block on the 29th of October, 1618. 
He had played the great game of life-and-death 
and lost it. When he mounted the scaffold, he 
asked to see the axe. Feeling the edge, he smiled 
and said: "Tis a sharp medicine, but a cure for 
all diseases.' Then he bared his neck and died 
like one who had served the Great Queen as her 
Captain of the Guard. 



CHAPTER XII 



drake's end 



Drake in disfavor after 1589 seems a contradic- 
tion that nothing can explain. It can, however, 
be quite easily explained, though never explained 
away. He had simply failed to make the Lisbon 
Expedition pay — a heinous offence in days when 
the navy was as much a revenue department as 
the customs or excise. He had also failed to take 
Lisbon itself. The reasons why mattered nothing 
either to the disappointed government or to the 
general public. 

But, six years later, in 1595, when Drake was 
fifty and Hawkins sixty-three, England called on 
them both to strike another blow at Spain. Eliza- 
beth was helping Henry IV of France against the 
League of French and Spanish Catholics. Henry, 
astute as he was gallant, had found Paris 'worth 
a mass' and, to Elizabeth's dismay, had gone 
straight over to the Church of Rome with terms of 

223 



224 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

toleration for the Huguenots. The war against 
the Holy League, however, had not yet ended. 
The effect of Henry's conversion was to make a 
more united France against the encroaching power 
of Spain. And every eye in England was soon 
turned on Drake and Hawkins for a stroke at 
Spanish power beyond the sea. 

Drake and Hawkins formed a most unhappy 
combination, made worse by the fact that Hawkins, 
now old beyond his years, soured by misfortune, 
and staled for the sea by long spells of office work, 
was put in as a check on Drake, in whom Elizabeth 
had lost her former confidence. Sir Thomas 
Baskerville was to command the troops. Here, 
at least, no better choice could have possibly been 
made. Baskerville had fought with rare distinc- 
tion in the Brest campaign and before that in the 
Netherlands. 

There was the usual hesitation about letting the 
fleet go far from home. The 'purely defensive' 
school was stni strong; Elizabeth in certain moods 
belonged to it; and an incident which took place 
about this time seemed to give weight to the argu- 
ments of the defensivists. A small Spanish force, 
obliged to find water and provisions in a hurry, put 
into Mousehole in Cornwall and, finding no op- 



DRAKE'S END 225 

position, burnt several villages down to the ground. 
The moment these Spaniards heard that Drake 
and Hawkins were at Plymouth they decamped. 
But this ridiculous raid threw the country into 
doubt or consternation. Elizabeth was as brave 
as a lion for herself. But she never grasped the 
meaning of naval strategy, and she was supersen- 
sitive to any strong general opinion, however false. 
Drake and Hawkins, with Baskerville's troops (all 
in transports) and many supply vessels for the 
West India voyage, were ordered to cruise about 
Ireland and Spain looking for enemies. The 
admirals at once pointed out that this was the work 
of the Channel Fleet, not that of a joint expedition 
bound for America. Then, just as the Queen was 
penning an angry reply, she received a letter from 
Drake, saying that the chief Spanish treasure ship 
from Mexico had been seen in Porto Rico little 
better than a wreck, and that there was time to 
take her if they could only sail at once. The ex- 
pedition was on the usual joint-stock lines and 
Elizabeth was the principal shareholder. She 
swallowed the bait whole; and" sent sailing orders 
down to Plymouth by return. 

And so, on the 28th of August, 1595, twenty-five 
hundred men in twenty-seven vessels sailed out, 



226 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

bound for New Spain. Surprise was essential; 
for New Spain, taught by repeated experience, was 
well armed; and twenty-five hundred men were 
less formidable now than five hundred twenty 
years before. Arrived at the Canaries, Las Palmas 
was found too strong to carry by immediate as- 
sault; and Drake had no time to attack it in form. 
He was two months late already; so he determined 
to push on to the West Indies. 

"When Drake reached Porto Rico, he found the 
Spanish in a measure forewarned and forearmed. 
Though he astonished the garrison by standing 
boldly into the harbor and dropping anchor close 
to a masked battery, the real surprise was now 
against him. The Spanish gunners got the range 
to an inch, brought down the flagship's mizzen, 
knocked Drake's chair from under him, killed two 
senior oflScers beside him, and wounded many more. 
In the meantime Hawkins, worn out by his exer- 
tions, had died. This reception, added to the pre- 
vious failures and the astonishing strength of Porto 
Rico, produced a most depressing effect. Drake 
weighed anchor and went out. He was soon back 
in a new place, cleverly shielded from the Spanish 
guns by a couple of islands. After some more 
manoeuvres he attacked the Spanish fleet with fire- 



DRAKE'S END 227 

balls and by boarding. When a burning frigate 
lit up the whole wild scene, the Spanish gunners 
and musketeers poured into the English ships such 
a concentrated fire that Drake was compelled 
to retreat. He next tried the daring plan of run- 
ning straight into the harbor, where there might 
still be a chance. But the Spaniards sank four of 
their own valuable vessels in the harbor mouth — 
guns, stores, and all — just in the nick of time, and 
thus completely barred the way. 

Foiled again, Drake dashed for the mainland, 
seized La Hacha, burnt it, ravaged the surround- 
ing country, and got away with a successful 
haul of treasure; then he seized Santa Marta 
and Nombre de Dios, both of which were found 
nearly empty. The whole of New Spain was tak- 
ing the alarm — The Dragon's hack again! Mean- 
while a fleet of more than twice Drake's strength 
was coming out from Spain to attack him in the 
rear. Nor was this all, for Baskerville and his 
soldiers, who had landed at Nombre de Dios and 
started overland, were in full retreat along the 
road from Panama, having found an impregnable 
Spanish position on the way. It was a sad begin- 
ning for 1596, the centennial year of England's 
first connection with America. 



228 ELIZABETHAN SEA-DOGS 

' Since our return from Panama he never carried 
mirth nor joy in his face,' wrote one of Basker- 
ville's officers who was constantly near Drake. 
A council of war was called and Drake, making the 
best of it, asked which they would have, Truxillo, 
the port of Honduras, or the 'golden towns' round 
about Lake Nicaragua. 'Both,' answered Basker- 
ville, ' one after the other. ' So the course was laid 
for San Juan on the Nicaragua coast. A head 
wind forced Drake to anchor under the island of 
Veragua, a hundred and twenty-five miles west of 
Nombre de Dios Bay and right in the deadliest 
part of that fever-stricken coast. The men began 
to sicken and die off. Drake complained at table 
that the place had changed for the worse. His 
earlier memories of New Spain were of a land like a 
'pleasant and delicious arbour' very different from 
the 'vast and desert wilderness' he felt all round 
him now. The wind held foul. More and more 
men lay dead or dying. At last Drake himself, 
the man of iron constitution and steel nerves, fell 
ill and had to keep his cabin. Then reports were 
handed in to say the stores were running low and 
that there would soon be too few hands to man the 
ships. On this he gave the order to weigh and 
'take the wind as God had sent it.' 



DRAKE'S END 229 

So they stood out from that pestilential Mos- 
quito Gulf and came to anchor in the fine harbor of 
Puerto Bello, which the Spaniards had chosen to 
replace the one at Nombre de Dios, twenty miles 
east. Here, in the night of the 27th of January, 
Drake suddenly sprang out of his berth, dressed 
himself, and raved of battles, fleets, Armadas, 
Plymouth Hoe, and plots against his own com- 
mand. The frenzy passed away. He fell ex- 
hausted, and was lifted back to bed again. Then, 
'like a Christian, he yielded up his spirit quietly.' 

His funeral rites befitted his renown. The great 
new Spanish fort of Puerto Bello was given to the 
flames, as were nearly all the Spanish prizes, and 
even two of his own English ships; for there were 
now no sailors left to man them. Thus, amid the 
thunder of the guns whose voice he knew so well, 
and surrounded by consuming pyres afloat and on 
the shore, his body was committed to the deep, 
while muflied drums rolled out their last salute and 
trumpets wailed his requiem. 



APPENDIX 

NOTE ON TUDOR SHIPPING 

In the sixteenth century there was no hard-and-fast 
distinctioH between naval and all other craft. The 
sovereign had his own fighting vessels; and in the 
course of the seventeenth century these gradually 
evolved into a Royal Navy maintained entirely by the 
country as a whole and devoted solely to the national 
defence. But in earlier days this modern system was 
difficult everywhere and impossible in England. The 
English monarch, for all his power, had no means of 
keeping up a great army and navy without the help 
of Parliament and the general consent of the people. 
The Crown had great estates and revenues; but nothing 
like enough to make war on a national scale. Con- 
sequently king and people went into partnership, 
sometimes in peace as well as war. When fighting 
stopped, and no danger seemed to threaten, the king 
would use his men-of-war in trade himself, or even hire 
them out to merchants. The merchants, for their 
part, furnished vessels to the king in time of war. 
Except as supply ships, however, these auxiliaries 
were never a great success. The privateers built 
expressly for fighting were the only ships that could 
approach the men-of-war. 

231 



232 APPENDIX 

Yet, strangely enough, King Henry's first modern 
men-of-war grew out of a merchant-ship model, and 
a foreign one at that. Throughout ancient and mediae- 
val times the 'long ship' was the man-of-war while 
the 'round ship' was the merchantman. But the long 
ship was always some sort of galley, which, as we have 
seen repeatedly, depended on its oars and used sails 
only occasionally, and then not in action, while the 
round ship was built to carry cargo and to go imder 
sail. The Italian naval architects, then the most 
scientific in the world, were trying to evolve two types 
of vessel: one that could act as light cavalry on the 
wings of a galley fleet, the other that could carry big 
cargoes safely through the pirate-haunted seas. In 
both types sail power and fighting power were essential. 
Finally a compromise resulted and the galleasse 
appeared. The galleasse was a hybrid between the 
galley and the sailing vessel, between the 'long ship' 
that was several times as long as it was broad and the 
'round ship' that was only two or three times as long 
as its beam. Then, as the oceanic routes gained on 
those of the inland seas, and as oceanic sea power 
gained in the same proportion, the galleon appeared. 
The galleon had no oars at all, as the hybrid galleasses 
had, and it gained more in sail power than it lost by 
dropping oars. It was, in fact, the direct progenitor 
of the old three-decker which some people still alive 
can well remember. 

At the time the Cabots and Columbus were dis- 
covering America the Venetians had evolved the 
merchant-galleasse for their trade with London: they 
called it, indeed, the galleazza di Londra. Then, by 



APPENDIX 233 

the time Henry VIII was building his new modern 
navy, the real galleon had been evolved (out of the 
Italian new war- and older merchant-galleasses) 
by England, France, and Scotland; but by England 
best of all. In original ideas of naval architecture 
England was generally behind, as she continued to be 
till well within living memory. Nelson's captains 
competed eagerly for the command of French prizes, 
which were better built and from superior designs. 
The American frigates of 1812 were incomparably 
better than the corresponding classes in the British 
service were; and so on in many other instances. But, 
in spite of being rather slow, conservative, and rule-of- 
thumb, the English were already beginning to develop 
a national sea-sense far beyond that of any other 
people. They could not, indeed, do otherwise and 
live. Henry's policy, England's position, the dawn 
of oceanic strategy, and the discovery of America, 
all combined to make her navy by far the most im- 
portajUt single factor in England's problems with the 
world at large. As with the British Empire now, so 
with England then: the choice lay between her being 
either first or nowhere. 

Henry's reasoning and his people's instinct having 
led to the same resolve, everyone with any sea-sense, 
especially shipwrights like Fletcher of Rye, began 
working towards the best types then obtainable. 
There were mistakes in plenty. The theory of naval 
architecture in England was never both sound and 
strong enough to get its own way against all opposition. 
But with the issue of hfe and death always depend- 
ent on sea power, and with so many men of every 



234 APPENDIX 

class following the sea, there was at all events the 
biggest rough-and-tumble school of practical seaman- 
ship that any leading country ever had. The two 
essential steps were quickly taken: first, from oared 
galleys with very little sail power to the hybrid gal- 
leasse with much more sail and much less in the way 
of oars; secondly, from this to the purely sailing 
galleon. 

With the galleon we enter the age of sailing tactics 
which decided the fate of the oversea world. This 
momentous age began with Drake and the English 
galleon. It ended with Nelson and the first-rate, 
three-decker, ship-of-the-line. But it was one through- 
out; for its beginning differed from its end no more 
than a father differs from his son. 

One famous Tudor vessel deserves some special notice, 
not because of her excellence but because of her defects. 

The Henry Grace d Dieu, or Great Harry as she was 
generally called, launched in 1514, was Henry's own 
flagship on his way to the Field of the Cloth of Gold 
in 1520. She had a gala suit of sails and pennants, 
all made of damasked cloth of gold. Her quarters, 
sides, and tops were emblazoned with heraldic targets. 
Coiu-t artists painted her to show His Majesty on board 
wearing cloth of gold, edged with the royal ermine; 
as well as bright crimson jacket, sleeves, and breeches, 
with a long white feather in his cap. Doubtless, too. 
His Majesty of France paid her all the proper com- 
pliments; while every man who was then what reporters 
are to-day talked her up to the top of his bent. No 
single vessel ever had greater publicity till the famous 



APPENDIX 235 

first Dreadnought of our own day appeared in the 
British navy nearly four hundred years later. 

But the much advertised Great Harry was not a 
mighty prototype of a world-wide-copied class of 
battleships like the modern Dreadnought. With her 
lavish decorations, her towering superstructures fore 
and aft, and her general aping of a floating castle, she 
was the wonder of all the landsmen in her own age, as 
she has been the delight of picturesque historians ever 
since. But she marked no advance in naval archi- 
tecture, rather the reverse. She was the last great 
English ship of mediaeval times. Twenty-five years 
after the Field of the Cloth of Gold, Henry was com- 
manding another English fleet, the first of modern 
times, and therefore one in which the out-of-date 
Great Harry had no proper place at all. She was 
absurdly top-hampered and over-gunned. And, for 
all her thousand tons, she must have bucketed about 
in the chops of the Channel with the same sort of 
hobby-horse, see-sawing pitch that bothered Captain 
Concas in 1893 when sailing an exact reproduction of 
Columbus's flagship, the Santa Maria, across the North 
Atlantic to the great World's Fair at Chicago. 

In her own day the galleon was the 'great ship,' 
'capital ship,' 'ship-of-the-line-of -battle,' or 'battleship' 
on which the main fight turned. But just as our 
modern fleets require three principal kinds of vessels — 
battleships, cruisers, and 'mosquito' craft — so did 
the fleets of Henry and Elizabeth. The galleon did 
the same work as the old three-decker of Nelson's time 
or the battleship of to-day. The 'pinnace' (quite 
different from more modern pinnaces) was the frigate 



236 APPENDIX 

or the cruiser. And, in Henry VIII's fleet of 1545, 
the 'row-barge* was the principal 'mosquito' craft, 
Hke the modern torpedo-boat, destroyer, or even sub- 
marine. Of course the correspondence is far from being 
complete in any class. 

The English galleon gradually developed more sail 
and gun power as well as handiness in action. Broad- 
side fire began. When used against the Armada, it 
had grown very powerful indeed. At that time the 
best guns, some of which are still in existence, were 
nearly as good as those at Trafalgar or aboard the 
smart American frigates that did so well in '1812.' 
When galleon broadsides were fired from more than a 
single deck, the lower ones took enemy craft between 
wind and water very nicely. In the English navy the 
portholes had been cut so as to let the guns be pointed 
with considerable freedom, up or down, right or left. 
The huge top-hampering 'castles' and other soldier- 
engineering works on deck were modified or got rid 
of, while more canvas was used and to much better 
purpose. 

The pinnace showed the same sort of improvement 
during the same period — from Drake's birth under 
Hem-y VIII in 1545 to the zenith of his career as a sea- 
dog in 1588. This progenitor of the frigate and the 
cruiser was itself descended from the long-boat of the 
Norsemen and still used oars as occasion served. But 
the sea-dogs made it primarily a sailing vessel of any- 
thing up to a hundred tons and generally averaging 
over fifty. A smart pinnace, with its long, low, clean- 
run hull, if well handled under its Elizabethan fighting 
canvas of foresail and main topsail, could play round 



APPENDIX 237 

a Spanish galleasse or absurdly castled galleon like a 
lancer on a well-trained charger round a musketeer 
astraddle on a cart horse. ' Henry's pinnaces still had 
lateen sails copied from Italian models. Elizabeth's 
had square sails prophetic of the frigate's. Henry's 
had one or a very few small guns. Elizabeth's had as 
many as sixteen, some of medium size, in a hundred- 
tonner. 

The 'mosquito' fleet of Henry's time was represented 
by 'row-barges' of his own invention. Now that the 
pinnace was growing in size and sail power, while 
shedding half its oars, some new small rowing craft 
was wanted, during that period of groping transition, 
to act as a tender or to do 'mosquito' work in action. 
The mere fact that Henry VIII placed no dependence 
on oars except for this smallest type shows how far 
he had got on the road towards the broadside-sailing- 
ship fleet. On the 16th of July, 1541, the Spanish Naval 
Attache (as we should call him now) reported to Charles 
V that Henry had begim 'to have new oared vessels 
built after his own design.' Four years later these 
same 'row-barges' — long, light, and very handy — 
hung round the sterns of the retreating Italian galleys 
in the French fleet to very good purpose, plying them 
with bow-chasers and the two broadside guns, till 

' Fuller in his Worthies (1662) writes: 

'Many were the wit-combats betwixt him [Shakespeare] and 
Ben Jonson, which two I beheld Uke a Spanish great galleon and an 
English man-of-war: Master: Jonson (like the former) was built far 
higher in learning, solid but slow in his performances. Shakespeare, 
like the English man-of-war, lesser in bulk, but lighter in sailing, 
could turn with all tideis, tack about, and take advantage of all 
winds by the quickness of his wit and invention.' 



238 APPENDIX 

Strozzi, the Italian galley-admiral, turned back on them 
in fury, only to see them slip away in perfect order and 
with complete immunity. 

By the time of the Armada the mosquito fleet had 
outgrown these little rowing craft and had become 
more oceanic. But names, types, and the evolution 
of one type from another, with the application of the 
same name to changed and changing types, all tend 
to confusion unless the subject is followed in such detail 
as is impossible here. 

The fleets of Henry VIII and of Elizabeth did far 
more to improve both the theory and practice of naval 
gunnery than all the fleets in the world did from the 
death of Drake to the adoption of rifled ordnance 
within the memory of living men. Henry's textbook 
of artillery, republished in 1588, the year of the Armada, 
contains very practical diagrams for finding the range 
at sea by means of the gunner's half circle — yet 
we now think range-flnding a very modern thing 
indeed. There are also full directions for making 
common and even something like shrapnel shells, 
'star shells' to light up the enemy at night, armor- 
piercing arrows shot out of muskets, 'wild-fire' grenades, 
and many other ultra-modern devices. 

Henry established Woolwich Dockyard, second to 
none both then and now, as well as Trinity House, 
which presently began to undertake the duties it still 
discharges by supervising all aids to navigation round 
the British Isles. The use of quadrants, telescopes, 
and maps on Mercator's projection all began in the 
reign of Elizabeth, as did many other inventions, 
adaptations, handy wrinkles, and vital changes in 



APPENDIX 239 

strategy and tactics. Taken together, these improve- 
ments may well make us of the twentieth century wonder 
whether we are so very much superior to the comrades 
of Henry, Elizabeth, Shakespeare, Bacon, Raleigh, 
and Drake. 



BIBLIOGRAPHICAL NOTE 

A COMPLETE bibliography concerned with the first 
century of Anglo-American affairs (1496-1596) would 
more than fill the present volume. But really infor- 
matory books about the sea-dogs proper are very 
few indeed, while good books of any kind are none too 
common. 

Taking this first century as a whole, the general 
reader cannot do better than look up the third volume 
of Justin Winsor's Narrative and Critical History of 
America (1884) and the first volume of Avery's History 
of the United States and its People (1904). Both give 
elaborate references to documents and books, but 
neither professes to be at all expert in naval or nautical 
matters, and a good deal has been written since. 

The Cabots. Cabot literature is full of conjecture 
and controversy. G. P. Winship's Cabot Bibliography 
(1900) is a good guide to all but recent works. NichoUs' 
Remarkable Life of Sebastian Cabot (1869) shows more 
zeal than discretion. Harrisse's John Cabot and his son 
Sebastian (1896) arranges the documents in scholarly 
order but draws conclusions betraying a wonderful 
ignorance of the coast. On the whole. Dr. S. E. 
Dawson's very careful monographs in the Transactions 
of the Royal Society of Canada (1894, 1896, 1897) are 
the happiest blend of scholarship and local knowledge. 

i6 241 



242 BIBLIOGRAPHICAL NOTE 

Neither the Cabots nor their crews appear to have 
written a word about their adventures and discoveries. 
Consequently the shifting threads of hearsay evidence 
soon became inextricably tangled. Biggar's Precursors 
of Cartier is an able and accurate work. 

Elizabeth. Turning to the patriot queen who had 
to steer England through so many storms and tortuous 
channels, we could find no better short guide to her 
political career than Beesley's volume about her in 
'Twelve English Statesmen.' But the best all-round 
biography is Queen Elizabeth by Mandell Creighton, 
who also wrote an excellent epitome, called The Age of 
Elizabeth, for the 'Epochs of Modern History.' Shake- 
speare's England, published in 1916 by the Oxford 
University Press, is quite encyclopaedic in its range. 

Life Afloat. The general evolution of wooden 
sailing craft may be traced out in Part I of Sir George 
Holmes's convenient little treatise on Ancient and 
Modem Ships. There is no nautical dictionary devoted 
to Ehzabethan times. But a good deal can be picked 
up from the two handy modern glossaries of Dana and 
Admiral Smyth, the first being an American author, 
the second a British one. Smyth's Sailor's Word Book 
has no alternative title. But Dana's Seaman's Friend 
is known in England under the name of The Seaman's 
Manual. Technicalities change so much more slowly 
afloat than ashore that even the ultra-modern editions 
of Paasch's magnificent polyglot dictionary, From Keel 
to Truck, still contain many nautical terms which will 
help the reader out of some of his difficulties. 

The hfe of the sea-dogs, gentlemen-adventurers, 
and merchant-adventurers should be studied in Hak- 



BIBLIOGRAPHICAL NOTE 243 

luyt's collection of Principal Navigations, Voiages, 
Traffiques, and Discoveries; though many of his original 
authors were landsmen while a few were civilians as 
well. This Elizabethan Odyssey, the great prose epic 
of the English race, was first published in a single 
solemn folio the year after the Armada — 1589. In 
the nineteenth century the Hakluyt Society reprinted 
and edited these Navigations and many similar works, 
though not without employing some editors who had 
no knowledge of the Navy or the sea. In 1893 E. J. 
Payne brought out a much handier edition of the 
Voyages of the Elizabethan Seamen to America which 
gives the very parts of Hakluyt we want for our present 
purpose, and gives them with a running accompani- 
ment of pithy introductions and apposite footnotes. 
Nearly all historians are both landsmen and civilians 
whose sins of omission and commission are generally 
at their worst in naval and nautical affairs. But James 
Anthony Froude, whatever his other faults may be, 
did know something of life afloat, and his English 
Seamen in the Sixteenth Century, despite its ultra- 
Protestant tone, is well worth reading. 

Hawkins. The Hawkins Voyages, published by 
the Hakluyt Society, give the best collection of original 
accounts. They deal with three generations of this 
famous family and are prefaced by a good introduction. 
A Sea-Dog of Devon, by R. A. J. Walling (1907) is the 
best recent biography of Sir John Hawkins. 

Drake. PoUtics, poUcy, trade, and colonization 
were all dependent on sea power; and just as the 
English Navy was by far the most important factor in 
solving the momentous New- World problems of that 



244 BIBLIOGRAPHICAL NOTE 

awakening age, so Drake was by far the most important 
factor in the English Navy. The Worlde Encompassed 
by Sir Francis Drake and Sir Francis Drake his Voyage, 
1595, are two of the volumes edited by the Hakluyt 
Society. But these contemporary accoimts of his 
famous fights and voyages do not bring out the supreme 
significance of his influence as an admiral, more es- 
pecially in connection with the Spanish Armada. It 
must always be a matter of keen, though unavailing, 
regret that Admiral Mahan, the great American 
expositor of sea power, began with the seventeenth, 
not the sixteenth, century. But what Mahan left 
undone was afterwards done to admiration by Julian 
Corbett, Lecturer in History to the (British) Naval 
War College, whose Drake and the Tudor Navy (1912) 
is absolutely indispensable to any one who wishes to 
understand how England won her footing in America 
despite all that Spain could do to stop her. Corbett's 
Drake (1890) in the 'English Men of Action' series is an 
excellent epitome. But the larger book is very much 
the better. Many illuminative documents on The 
Defeat of the Spanish Armada were edited in 1894 by 
Corbett's predecessor. Sir John Laughton. The only 
other work that need be consulted is the first volume of 
The Royal Navy: a History, edited by Sir William Laird 
Clowes (1897). This is not so good an authority as 
Corbett; but it contains many details which help to 
round the story out, besides a wealth of illustration. 

Raleigh. Gilbert, Cavendish, Raleigh, and the 
other gentlemen-adventurers, were soldiers, not sailors; 
and if they had gone afloat two centuries later they 
would have fought at the head of marines, not of blue- 



BIBLIOGRAPHICAL NOTE 245 

jackets; so their lives belong to a different kind of 
biography from that concerned with Hawkins, Frobisher, 
and Drake. Edwards's Life of Sir Walter Raleigh (1868) 
contains aU the most interesting letters and is a com- 
petent work of its own kind. Oldys' edition of Raleigh's 
Worhs still holds the field though its eight volumes were 
published so long ago as 1829. Raleigh's Discovery of 
Guiana is the favorite for reprinting. The Hakluyt 
Society has produced an elaborate edition (1847) while 
a very cheap and handy one has been published in 
CasseU's National Library. W. G. Gosling's Life of 
Sir Hvmphry Gilbert (1911) is the best recent work of 
its kind. 

The likeliest of all the Hakluyt Society's volumes, so 
far as its title is concerned, is one which has hardly any 
direct bearing on the subject of our book. Yet the 
reader who is disappointed by the text of Divers 
Voyages to America because it is not devoted to Eliza- 
bethan sea-dogs will be richly rewarded by the notes 
on pages 116-141. These quaint bits of information 
and advice were intended for quite another purpose. 
But their transcriber's faith in their wider applicability 
is fully justified. Here is the exact original heading 
under which they first appeared: Notes in Writing 
besides More Privie by Mouth that were given by a Gentle- 
man, Anno 1580, to M. Arthur e Pette and to M. Charles 
Jaclcman, sent by the Marchants of the Muscovie Com- 
panie for the discouerie of the northeast strayte, not all- 
together vnfit for some other enterprises of discouerie, 
hereafter to bee taken in hands. 

See also in The Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Ed., 
the articles on Henry VIII, Elizabeth, Drake, Raleigh, etc. 



INDEX 



Alva, Governor of the Spanish 
Netherlands, 98 el seq. 

Amadas, in America (1584), 151, 
210 

America; an obstacle to the cir- 
cumnavigation of the world, 
11; as a reputed source of 
gold and silver, 65 

Angel, The, ship, 86 

Anton, Senor Juan de, 133 

Antonio, Don, pretender to the 
throne of Portugal, 164; and 
the English at Lisbon, 194 

Antwerp, 98, 99, 100 

Armada, 145, 150, 153, 156, 164, 
165, 172, 191, 214 

AvUes, Don Pedro Menendcz de, 
86 

Azores, 150, 169, 194 

Baber, Sultan in the Moluccas, 

141 
Bacon, Francis, Lord, 62, 210 
Balboa crosses Isthmus of Pana- 
ma (1513), 19 
Barlow, in America (1584), 151, 

210 
Baskerville, Sir Thomas, 224, 

227 et seq. 
Bazan, Don Alonzo de, 197, 200 
Bible, authorized version of, 49, 

216 
' Bond of Association, ' 152 
Brazil, voyage of Hawkins to, 

33-4 
Bristol, Cabot settles in, 3 
Burleigh, Lord, 87, 119, 144, 156, 

162, 167, 206 



Cabot, John, transfers allegiance 
from Genoa to Venice (1476), 
1; Cabott4ggio, 2; reaches 
Cape Breton (1497), 7; returns 
to Bristol, 7; receives a pres- 
ent of £10 from Henry VII, 
8; disappears at sea (1498), 
8-9, 14; believes America 
the eastern limit of the Old 
World, 11; bibliography, 
241 

Cabot, Sebastian, second son of 
John, 9; takes command of ex- 
pedition to America, 9; leaves 
men to explore Newfoundland, 
9; coasts Greenland, 12; ex- 
plores Atlantic Coast, 12; 
enters service of Ferdinand of 
Spain as 'Captain of the 
Sea,' IS; Charles V makes 
him 'Chief Pilot and Exami- 
ner of Pilots,' 15; determines 
longitude of Moluccas, 15; 
voyage to South America, 15; 
makes a map of the world, 
15; leaver Spain for England 
(1548), 16; receives pension 
from Edward VI, 16; feasts 
at Gravesend with the Serch- 
thrift, 16-17; Governor of 
Muscovy Company, 16, 31; 
sailing of the Serchthrift, 32; 
bibliography, 241 

Cadiz, 165 et seq. 

California, 137, 138, 212 

Canaries, 157, 226 

Cape Breton, Cabot reaches 
(1497), 7 



247 



248 



INDEX 



Cape of Good Hope, Vasco da 
Gama sails around, 18 

Cape St. Vincent, Drake plans 
to capture, 167 

Caribs, 80, 158 

Carleill, 154, 156, 157, 160 

Cartagena, 88, 108 et seq., 156, 
159 

Cartier, Jacques, second voyage 
(1535), 12; discovers St. Law- 
rence, 71 

Cathay, Sebastian Cabot searches 
for passage to, 11; Sir Hugh 
Willoughby tries to find 
Northeast passage to, 30 

Cavendish, Thomas, 212 

Cecil, Sir Robert, 206 

Charles V of Spain, maritime 
rival of Henry VIII, 22-25; 
his dominions, 23; feud with 
Prance, 23-24; hostile to 
England, 29; Spanishdominion, 
71; father of Don John of 
Austria, 117 

Chesapeake Bay, 220 

Cockeram, Martin, 34 

Coligny, Admiral, 207 

Columbus, Christopher, citizen 
of Genoa, 1-2; visit to Iceland, 
3; fame eclipses that of the 
Cabots, 13; reasons for his 
significance, 13; 400th anni- 
versary of his discovery, 14; 
replica of the Santa Maria, 
235 

Complaynt of Scotland, The, 42 

Cordial Advice, 40 

Corunna, 178, 192 

Cosa, Juan de la, makes first 
dated (1500) map of America, 
14 

Croatoan Island, 213 et seq. 

Crowndale, Drake's birthplace, 
95 

Cumberland, Earl of, 197 

Cuttyhunk Island, 216 

Dare, Virginia, 215 
Delight, The, ship, 209 



De Soto, 19, 81 

Doughty, Thomas. 116, 120, 123 
et seq., 127 

Dragon, The, ship, 101 

Drake, Sir Francis, born the 
same year as modern sea-power 
(1545), 28; on the Minion, 
92; Son of Edmund Drake, 
95; boyhood, 96 et seq.; as 
lieutenant, on escort to wool- 
fleet, 100; marries Mary New- 
man, 100; sails on Nombre de 
Dios expedition, 101 et seq.; 
Drake and Nombre de Dios, 
104; sees the Pacific, 110; 
attacks a Spanish treasure 
train. 111 et seq.; returns to 
England (1573), 114; goes 
to Ireland, 115; recalled for 
consultation, 118; audience 
with the Queen, 119; plans to 
raid the Pacific, 119; sails 
ostensibly for Egypt, 120; 
his Famous Voyage (1577), 
121 ; has trouble with Doughty, 
124; whom he puts to death, 
125; winters in Patagonia, 125; 
overcomes disaffection of his 
men, 126; sails through Straits 
of Magellan, 128; enters 
Pacific, 128; takes the Grand 
Captain of the South, 129; 
scours the Pacific taking prizes, 
130; at Lima, 130; pursues 
Spanish treasure ship, 131; 
captures Don Juan de Anton, 
133; sails north, 137; con- 
sidered a god by the Indians, 
138 et seq.; arrives at Moluccas, 
141 ; lays foundation of English 
diplomacy in Eastern seas, 
142; Golden Rind aground, 
142; uncertainty at home as 
to his fate, 144; arrives at 
Plymouth, 145; knighted by 
Elizabeth, 148; plans a raid 
on New Spain, 151; prepares 
for Indies voyage of 1585, 153; 
calls at Vigo, 155; plans a 



INDEX 



249 



Drake, Sir Francis — Continued 
raid on New Spain, 156; 
captures Santiago and San 
Domingo, 157; takes Carta- 
gena, 159; calls at Roanoke, 
162; arrives at Plymouth, 
(1580), 162; expedition to 
Cadiz, 165; arrests Borough, 
167; conquers Sagres Castle, 
167; takes Spanish treasure 
ship, 169; defeats the Armada, 
172-191; undertakes Lisbon 
expedition (1589),_ 192; his 
achievement, 201 ; in disfavor, 
223; in unhappy combination 
with Hawkins. 224; West 
Indies voyage, 225; seizes 
La Hacha, Santa Marta, and 
Nombre de Dios, 227; his 
last days, 228; his death, 229; 
bibliography, 243-4 

Drake, Edmund, 95 

Drake, Jack, 121, 132 

Drake's Bay, 138 

East India Company, 63, 171, 
215 

Edward VI, 29, 50 

Elizabeth, the England of, 48 
et seq.; early life, 50; and 
Mary, 51; and Anne of Cleves, 
51; ascends the throne, 52 
difficulty of her position, 53 
and finance, 55; her court, 68 
her love of luxury, 68-09 
commandeers Spanish gold, 99 
deposed by Pope, 100; tortu- 
ous Spanish policy, 117; con- 
sults Drake, 119; rceives 
Drake on his return, 146; 
banquets on the Golden Rind, 
148; knights Drake, 148; 
Babington Plot again, 163; 
beheads Mary Queen of Scots, 
165; the Armada, 176 et 
seq.; the Lisbon expedition, 
192; dies, 216; bibliography, 
242 

Elisabeth, The, ship. 121 



Essex, Earl of, 116, 118 

Field of the Cloth of Gold, 234 
Fleming, Captain, 179, 190 
Fletcher, Chaplain, 125, 128, 143 
Fletcher of Rye, discovers the art 

of tacking, 26; as a shipwright. 

233 
Florida, 81, 82, 162 
Francis I, of France, maritime 

rival of Henry VIII, 22, 24, 

71 
Frobisher, Martin, 120, 154, 160, 

220 
Fuller, Thomas, author of The 

Worthies of England, 101, 237 

Gamboa, Don Pedro Sarmiento 

de, 135 
Genoa, the home of Cabot and 

Columbus, 2 
George Noble, The, ship, 198 
Gilbert, Sir Humphrey, 208-210 
Gilbert, Raleigh, 219 
God Save the KingI 95 
Golden Hind, The, ship, 121, 127. 

129, 132 et seq., 136, 141, 142, 

144, 145, 147, 154, 179 
Gorges, Sir Ferdinando. 217 
Gosnold. Bartholomew, 216 
Grand Captain of the South, The. 

ship, 129 
Gravelines, battle at, 32, 190 
Great Harry, The, ship, 234 
Grenville, Sir Richard, 195 et 

seq., 220 
Gresham. Sir Thomas, 60 

Hakluyts Voyages, 33 

Hakluyt Society, 242 et seq. 

Harriot, Thomas, 212 

Harrison's description of Eng- 
land, 69-70 

Hatton, Sir Christopher, 127, 
146 

Hawkins, Sir John, son of Wil- 
liam Hawkins, 34; enters slave 
trade with New Spain (1562), 
74; takes 300 slaves at Sierra 



250 



INDEX 



Hawkins, Sir John — Continued 
Leona, 75; second expedition 
(1664), 75; issues sailing or- 
ders, 76; John Sparke's ac- 
count, 77; at Tenerifle, 77; 
meets Peter de Ponte, 78; 
Arbol Santo tree, 78; takes 
many Sapies, 79; at Sambula, 
79; island of the Cannibals, 
80; makes for Florida, 80; 
finds French settlement, 82 
et seq.; sells the Tiger, 85; sails 
north to Newfoundland, 85; 
arrives at Padstow, Cornwall 
(1565), 85; a favorite at court, 
85; watched by Spain, 86; 
sets out on third voy^e (1567), 
86; begins the sea-dog fighting 
with Spain, 86; Drake joins 
the expedition, 86; disasters, 
87; crosses from Africa to 
West Indies, 88; clashes with 
Spaniards at Rio de la Hacha, 
88; at Cartagena, 89; at St. 
John de XJlua, 89; fight with 
the Spaniards, 90 et seq.; 
parted from Drake in a storm, 
93; leaves part of his men 
ashore, 93; voyage ends in 
disaster, 94; strikes another 
blow at Spain (1595), 223; 
unhappily combined with 
Drake, 224; sails for New 
Spain 226; dies, 226; bibli- 
ography, 243 

Hawkins, Sir Richard, grandson 
of William Hawkins, 35 

Hawkins, William, story of, in 
Hakluyt Voyages, 33 et seq.; 
father of Sir John Hawkins, 
34; grandfather of Sir Richard 
Hawkins, 35, and of the 
second William Hawkins, 35 

Hawkins, William, the Second, 
grandson of William Hawkins, 
35 

Henry IV of France, 223 

Henry VII, Cabot enters ser- 
vice of, 3; refuses to patronize 



Columbus, 4; gives patent 
to the Cabots, 4-6 

Henry VIII, the monarch of the 
sea, 20; establishes a modern 
fleet and the ofiSce of the 
Admiralty, 21; a patron of 
sailors, 22; menaced by Scot- 
land, France, and Spain, 25; 
defies the Pope, 25; defies 
Francis I, 26; birth of modern 
sea-power (1545), 28; and the 
voyage of Hawkins, 33-34; as 
a patron of the Navy, 232 
et seq. 

Henry Grace & Dieu, The, ship, 
234 

Honduras, 156, 228 

Hore, his voyage to America, 
33 et seq. 

Hortop, Job, 94 

Howard of EflSngham, Lord, 31, 
176, 189, 197 

Hudson Strait, Sebastian Cabot 
misses, 12 

India, Sebastian Cabot searches 

for passage to, 11 
Ingram, David, 94 
Inquisition, Spanish, 29, 73 
Ireland, 147, 191 

Jackman, 122 

James I of England, 216, 218 

JefiEerys, Thomas, 66 

Jesus, The, ship, see Jesus of 

Lubeck 
Jesus of Lubeck, The, ship, 75, 

76, 86, 89, 91 et seq. 
Judith, The, ship, 86, 92 et seq., 

98 

KnoUys, 154 

La Dragontea, by Lope de Vega, 

157 
La Hacha, 156, 227 
Lane, Ralph, 162, 196, 212 
La Rochelle, 100 
Laudonni^re, RenI de, 82 et seq. 



INDEX 



251 



Leicester, Earl, of, 146, 164, 176 

Lepanto, 117, 185 

Lima, 130, 135, 144 

Lines of Torres Vedras, 194 

Lisbon, 144, 168, 192, 223 et seq. 

Lloyd's, 59-61 

London merchants, 144, 146, 171, 

218 
Lope de Vega, 157 

Madrid, 86, 172 

Magellan, Strait of, 120, 127, 128 

Manoa, 221, 222 

Map, Juan de la Cosa's earliest 
dated (1500) map of America, 
14; of world by Sebastian 
Cabot (1544), 15; of America 
by Thomas Jefferys, 66 

Marigold, The, ship, 121, 126, 
128, 129 

Martin, Don, 134, 153 

Mary, Queen of Scots, 31, 50 
et seq., 117, 121, 149, 152, 
163, 164, 216 

Matthew, The, ship, 7 

Medina Sidonia, Duke of, 175 

i.i. -"oza, 119 

Menendez, 115, 150 

Middleton, Captain, 197 

Minion, The, ship, 86, 91 et aeq. 

Monopoly, 58, 66 

Moone, Tom, 129, 154, 161 

Mosquito, Lopez de, 141 

Mountains of Bright Stones, 86, 
221, 222 

Muscovy Company, 16, 31 

Navigation, encouraged by Henry 
VIII, 21, 25, 27; art of tacking 
discovered, 26; birth of modern 
sea-power, 28; sea-songs, 37 
et seq.; nautical terms, 42 et 
seq.; Pette and Jackman's 
advice to traders, 122-123 
ftn.; Francisco de Zarate's 
account of Drake's Golden 
Hind, 136-137; appendix; note 
on Tudor shipping, 231-239; 
bibliography, 242 



New Albion, 136, 140 
Newfoundland fisheries. Bacon 

on, 62 
New France, 72, 205 
Nombre de Dios, 101 et seq., 120, 

136, 156, 227 
Norreys, Sir John, 176, 193 
Northwest Passage, 120, 137 

Oxenham, John, 105, 109,116,1*4 

Pacific Ocean, taken possession 
of by Balboa (1513), 19; 
Drake enters, 128 et seq. 

Panama, 19, 103, 108, 120, 132, 
135, 156, 227 

Parma, 172 et seq.. 189 

Pascha, The, ship, 101, 106, 109, 
114 

Pedro de Valdes, Don, 188 

Pelican, The, ship, 121, 127 

Philip of Spain, marries Queen 
Mary, 31; protests against 
Drake's actions, 87; plans to 
seize Scilly Isles, 116; soldiers 
sack Antwerp, 116; seizes 
Portugal, 144; prepares a 
fleet, 160; Paris plot with 
Mary, 150; seizes English 
merchant fleet, 162; duped 
by Hawkins, 153; his credit 
low, 163; resumes mobiliza- 
tion, 172; prepares the Armada, 
174 et seq. 

Philippines, Vasco da Gama 
reaches, 19; Drake sails to, 141 

Pines, Isle of, 103 

Plymouth, 96, 98, 114, 145, 
162, 178-180, 217, 225 

Plymouth Company, 218 

Pole of Plimmouth, The, ship, 33 

Ponte, Peter de, 78 

Popham, George, 219 

Porto Rico, 225, 226 

Potosi, 28, 73, 95, 130 

Primrose, The, ship, 162 

Pring, Martin, 217 

Puerto Bello, 229 

Purchas, Samuel, 203 



252 



INDEX 



Ralegh, City of, in Virginia, 213 
Raleigh, The, ship, 209 
Raleigh, Sir Walter, 195, 205- 

222; bibliography, 244-245 
Ranse, 103, 108 

Revenge, The, ship, 188, 192-20 J 
Ribaut, Jean, 82 
Roanoke Island, 162, 210 ct 

seq. 

Sagres Castle, 167 

St. Augustine, 86, 162 

San Domingo, 156, 157, 161 

San Felipe, The, ship, 197 et seq. 

San Francisco, 137, 138 

San Juan de Ulua, 89, 98, 99, 

153 
Santa Anna, The, ship, 212 
Santa Cruz, 150, 172 ei seq. 
Santa Marta, 156, 227 
Scilly Isles, 114, 115, 153 
Serchthnft, The, ship, 16-17, 32 
Shipping, note on Tudor, 231- 

239 
Sidney, Sir Philip, 155, 164, 195 
Slave Trade, 74 et seq. 
Solomon, The, ship, 76 
Somerset, 29-30, 53, 96 
Southampton, Earl of, 217 
Spain, rights of discovery, 6 
Spanish Inquisition, 29, 73 
breach with England, 72 
Spanish gold in London, 73 
Spaniards in Florida, 81-82 
the 'Spanish Fury' of 1576, 
116; Drake clips the wings 
of Spain, 149-171; Drake and 
the Spanish Armada, 172-191; 
Lisbon expedition, 192 et seq.; 
the last fight of the Revenge, 
197 et seq. 
Sparke, John, his account of Sir 



John Hawkins's voyage to 

Florida, 77 et seq. 
Spitfire, The, ship, 132 
'i'luirrel. The, ship, 210 
Hwullow, The, ship, 86 
Swan, The, ship, 101, 106, 109, 

Hi, 129 

Teneriffe, 77-78 
Ternate, Island of, 141, 142 
Tetu, Capt., 112 et seq. 
Throgmorton, Elizabeth, 220 
Tiger, The, ship, 60, 85, 154 
Torres Vedras, Lines of, 194 

Vasco da Gama fieds sea route 

to India (1498), 18 
Venice, importance in trade, 2; 

Cabot becomes a citizen of, 2 
Venta Cruz, 111 
Vera Cruz, 89 
Verrazano, 71 
Virginia, 62, 151, 196, 205, 210, 

219 

Walsingham, Sir Francis, 118, 

146 
West Indies, 84, 157, 201, 208, 

219, 225 et seq. 
Westward Ho I Kingsley's, 105 
Weymouth, George, 218 
White, John, 212 et seq. 
William and John, The, ship, 86 
William of Orange, 152, 207. 
Willoughby, Sir Hugh, tries to 

find Northwest Passage, 30; 

dies in Lapland, 30 
Woolwich, 153, 238 
Worthies of England, The, by 

Thomas Fuller, 101, 237 

Zarate, Don Francisco de, 136