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ANNO DOMINI 1588
Preparation in Spaine against England. | By what counsaile. | For what causes. | Consultation about the manner of invasion. | The invicible Armado. | Preparation in the Low-Countries. | Traitors odious. | Helpe from the Pope. | Preparation in England. | By Sea. | By Land. | A consultation for resistance. | And about the Papists at home. | The King of Scotts alacrity against the Spanyards. | A colloquy of peace in the meane time. | Propositions of the English, and answeres on the other side. | An expostulation with the Prince of Parma. | The colloquy broken off. | The Spanish Armado. | Setteth saile. | Is dispersed. | It putteth to sea againe. | The English fleete putteth to sea. | Their first fight. | The agility of the English shippes. | Don Pedro de Valdez taken prisoner. | Oquendas ship taken. | The second fight. | The Lord Admiralls providence. | The third fight. | Knights made. | Noblemen and Gentlemen joyne with the Fleete. | The Spanish fleete cometh to an anchor. | The Prince of Parma sent for. | He is unready. | The Spaniards in a feare flie confusedly. | Don Hugo de Moncada slaine. | The fourth Fight. | The Spaniards flie. | The Queene commeth to the Campe. | Offers made to the King of Scotts. | Quoines in memory of the victory. | The miseries of the Spanyards. | To what causes they imputed the overthrow. | How the King of Spaine took it. | Queene Elizabeth giveth thankes to God. | She commendeth the Commanders of her Navie. | The publike joy increased out of Scotland. | A witty saying of the King. | The Earle of Leicesters death. | His honours. | The Prince of Parma before Bergen-up-Zome. | He breaketh up the siege. | Insolency of the Puritans. | The beginning of a great rebellion in Ireland. | An Embassage into Denmark. | The favour of the Russian towards the English.
OW are wee come to the yeare of Christ One thousand five hundred eighty and eight, which an Astronomer of Konigsberg above an hundred yeares before foretold would be an admirable yeare, and the German Chronologers presaged would be the Climacterical yeare of the world. The rumors of warres, which before were but slight, began now to increase every day more and more, and now not by uncertaine fame, but by lowde and joynt voyce of all men it was noysed abroad that a most invincible Armado was rigged and prepared in Spayne against England, and that the famousest Captaines and expertest leaders and old soldiours were sent for out of Italy, Sicily, yea and out of America, into Spayne.
2. For of late the Bishop of Rome, certaine religious men of Spaine, and some English fugitives out of their Country had revoked [recalled] the Spanyard to his designe for conquering of England, which was interrupted tenn yeares before by the Portugall warres; earnestly exhorting him that, seeing God had blessed him with immeasurable blessings and benefits, Portugall, with East India, and very many most rich lands being layed to his dominions, he in like manner would performe somewhat which might be acceptable to God the giver of so great things, and most worthy the majesty of the Catholike King. But nothing was more acceptable to God, or more worthy of him, then to propagate the Church of God. That the Church of God could not bee more gloriously, nor with greater merit propagated, then by conquering of England and replanting the Catholike Roman religion, abolishing heresie. This warre (said they) would be most just, not onely because it was necessary, but also for that it was for maintenance of Christs religion, considering that the Queene of England, being excommunicate, persisted contumacious against the Church of Rome, supported his rebels in the Netherlands, annoyed the Spaniards with continuall depredations, surprised and sacked his townes in Spayne and America, and had very lately put the Queene of Scotts to death, violating the majesty of all Kings. And no lesse profitable would this warre be, then it was just.
3. For so should he lay unto his Empire most flourishing Kingdomes, extinguish the rebellion in the Low-Countries, which was cheared as it were with an English gale, secure his voyages from both Indies, and abate his yearely expenses in conveying his Indies fleetes forward and backward. And for easie proofe hereof they suggested that the English Navie was neither for number, nor greatnesse, nor strength, comparable to that of Spaine, the Portugall fleete being now joyned unto it; that England was not fortified, that it was unprovided of leaders, soldiours, horsemen, and munitions, bare of wealth and friends; that here were manie in all parts of the realme addicted to the Romish religion which would presently joyne their forces with his. In briefe, that so great was the strength of the Spanyard both by sea and land, and so unmatchable the valour of the Spanyards, that no man durst oppose against him, and they might most confidently assure themselves of the victory. Moreoever, that now an opportunity was offered him as it were by God, when hee had no cause to feare any thing neither from the Turke, having lately concluded a truce with him, nor from the French, who were now imbroyled in civile warre. They made him beleeve also that England was easier to be conquered then the Netherlands, for that it was a shorter cut by sea, and more oportune out of Spaine into England, namely by an open sea, but into the Netherlands longer and more difficult, by a sea for a great part shut up and lying over against England. Also that the Low-Countries were as it were a continued bulwarke, fortified every where with so many Cities and Castles, but England with none, so as it was an easie matter for them to pierce presently into the very bowels of the land, as well as they had done of late into Portugall. And lastly out of that military Axiome, That it is not good leaving an enemie at our backe. That the English therefore, being most better enemies to the Spanyards, must before all things needs be vanquished, upon whose ayde the Netherlanders relying, had so long time susteined the burden of the warre and without whom they could not subsist. So as England being once conquered, the Low-Countries must of necessity be subdued.
4. These things being thus disposed, they enter into serious consultation about the manner of invading England. Don Alvares Bassano marquesse of Sancta Cruce, to whom was committed the principall charge and conduct of the Armado, was of opinion that first and foremost some port town in Holland or Zeland was at unawares to be surprised by the Prince of Parmas land forces, and by some Spanish ships sent before, where the Spanish fleete might have harbour, and from whence it might commodiously beginne the invasion, considering that in the troublous British sea, the winds often changing, and wherein the tydes were especially to be observed, the fleete could not ride in safety. With him agreed in opinion the Prince of Parma, who urged this expedition tooth and nayle. Yet others liked not this project, as being a matter difficult, full of danger, of long time, much labour, great expence, and doubtfull successe; and that it could neither be none privily, or at unawares, but would easily be prevented by the English. These men were of opinion that with the same charge England might easilier be won, and that the victory would be certaine and assured, if a well appointed Army out of Spaine and the Low-Countrie, might be landed with a strong fleete at the Thames mouth, and London the chiefe Citty surprised by a suddayne assault. This seemed to them most easie to be effected, and therefore all concurred in opinion that it was forthwith to bee put in execution. Amongst these notwithstanding some thought it meete that warre should be first denounced by an herald, and that in a subtill purpose, as they thought, both to remove suspition out of the neighbour Princes mindes, and also to drive the Queene to call foreine forces to her ayde, hoping that they (according to the insolent manner of mercenaryes) would mutinie and spoyle the country, and that thereby she would procure the ill will of her subjects, and all things would grow most confused in England. But these were not harkened unto amongst men growne fierce with confidence of their owne strength, and they held it sufficient co commend the cause, Armado, and Army to the Bishop of Rome, and the prayers of the Catholikes to God and the Saints, and to set forth a booke in print with mappes for a terror, wherein the whole preparation was particulary set downe; which certainely was so great throughout all Spaine, Italy, and Sicily, that the Spanyards themselves were abashed at it, and named it The Invincible Armado.
5. The Prince of Parma also in the Netherlands, by the King of Spaines commandement, built shippes, and very manie flat-bottomed boates, each of them bigge enough to carry 30 horse, with bridges fitted to them; hired mariners from East-Germany, prepared pikes sharpened at the nether end, headed with yron, and hooked on the sides, made ready twentie thousand barrels and an infinite number of faggots; and in the coast townes of Flanders he had an army in readinesse, of 103 companies of foote and 4000 horse, amongst which were 700 English fugitives, who of all others were held in greatest contempt; neither was Stanley, who had the command of them, nor Westmerland, or others which offered their service and counsayle, once heard, but ,for their impiety to their Country, barred from all accesse, and as most inauspicious conductors, worthily with detestation rejected. Sixtus Quintus also Bishop of Rome, that he might not seeme to fayle the cause, sent Cardinall Allen an Englishman into the Low-countries, renewed the Bulls declaratory of Pius Quintus and Gregory the 13th, excommunicated the Queene, unthroned her, absolved her subjects from all alleageance, and published his Croisado in print, as against Turkes and Infidels, wherein out of the treasure of the Church hee gave plenary indulgences to all that gave their assistance. Whereupon the Marquesse of Burgawe of the house of Austria, the Duke of Pastrana, Amadeus of Savoy, Vespasian Gonzaga, John de Medices, and very many noblemen from all parts gave their names voluntarily to this enterprise.
6. Queene Elizabeth on the other side, that she might not be taken unprovided, prepared with all diligence as strong a fleete as shee could, and all things necessary for warre. And she herselfe, who in discerning of mens dispositions was of most sharpe judgement, and ever most happie, having the free choise in her selfe, and not by the commendations of others, assigned to every office by name the best men. The charge of the whole fleete she committed to Charles Howard of Effingham Lord Admirall of England; of whose happinesse she had a very good perswasion, and whom shee knew both by his moderation and nobility to be skilfull in sea matters, wary in providence, valiant in courage, industrious in action, and of great authority amongst the sailers of her Navy. Him she sent betimes to the West parts of England, were Drake, whom shee made Viceadmirall, joyned with him. The Lord Henry Seimore, second sonne of the Duke of Somerset, she commanded to lye upon the coast of the Low-Countries with 40 shippes, English and Netherlandish, and to watch that the Prince of Parma miaght not come forth with his forces; though some there were which earnestly perswaded her to attend the enemies comming, and to welcome him with a land battaile, according has had beene deliberated in the reigne of Henry the 8th when the French with a strong fleete threatned England.
7. For land fight there were disposed a long the south coastes 20000 men; and two armies besides of most choice and expert men were leavied, the one under the command of the Earle of Leicester, consisting of 1000 horse and 22000 foote, which incamped at Tilbury, not farre from the Thames mouth (for the enemie was fully resolved to set first upon London); the other under the leading of the Lord of Hunsdon, consisting of 34000 foote, and 2000 horse, to guard the Queenes person.
8. Arthur Lord Grey, Sir Francis Knolles, Sir John Norris, Sir Richard Bingham, and Sir Roger Williams, Knights, and worthy warriours, were selected to consult about the manner of the land warre. These men thought good that the commodious landing places for the enemie, as well out of Spaine as out of the Low-Contreyes, should be manned and fortified, namely Milford haven, Falmouth, Plimmouth, Portland, the Isle of Wight, Portsmouth, that open coast of Kent which we call The Downes, the Thamis mouth, Harwich, Yarmouth, Hull, etc., and that the trayned souldiours throughout the coast shieres should meete upon a signall given, to defend the said places and doe their best to prohibite the enemies landing. And if the enemie did land, to leave all the Countrey wast round about, to taint all things that might be of use unto them, that they might finde nothing for foode but what they should carry on their shoulders, and to hold the enemie busied night and day with continuall Alarums, in such sort as they should give them no rest; but not to attempt the hazard of a battaile till more leaders with their companies were come together. Of which leaders they named one in every Shiere to have the principall command. I list not to relate, particularly what mid-land shieres they assigned to ayde this and that coast, what number, what Armes, and what manner of fight they proscribed.
9. In this troublesome season, when some beate many times into the Queenes eares that the Spanyards abroad were not so much to bee feared as the Papists at home, for that the Spanyards would not attempt any hostility against England but upon confidence of ayde from them; and that therefore for the more security, the Papists heads were for some cause or other to be cutt off, alleaging the example of King Henry the 8th when the Emperour and the French King, by the instigation of the Pope, were ready to invade England. For as soone as he had put to death the Marquesse of Excester, the Baron of Montacute, Edward Nevill, and others whom hee suspected would favour their enterprise, their expedition presently was dashed. But the Queene disliking this as cruell counsaile, thought it sufficient to commit some of the Papists, and those not of the chiefe, to custodie at Wisbeach in the fennes. And casting her eyes and mind on all sides, she by often letters excited the Estates, who slept not all this while. Sir William Fitz-Williams Lord Deputy of Ireland she instructed what hee should doe. The King of Scotts she put in minde by her favourers in Scotland, and by messengers, to be most wary of Papists and the Spanish faction. But he, not ignorant how great a tempest and destruction threatned, was of his owne accord incited, and, according to his continuall affection to the true religion and the Queene, had before already refused to give audience to the Bishop of Dumblane, that was sent from the Bishop of Rome, and had procured a confederacy to bee made betwixt the Protestants of Scotland for resisting the Spanyards. And he himselfe marching in person with an army into Annondale, forced Maxwell out of his trenches, who contrary to his faith given was returned out of Spaine into Scotland, favouring the Spanyard, and cast him in prison, proclaimed the Spanyards to be holden for enemies, and prepared against them with great alacrity.
10. Amongst these no small preparations for warr on both sides, projects of peace were not quite layed aside. Two yeares before, when the Prince of Parma had weyed with himselfe how difficult a matter it would be to bring the Low-Country warre to an end, as long as it was cherished daily with supplies from the Queene, <he> had dealt seriously by letters with the helpe of Sir James a Crofts one of the Privie Councell, a man much desirous of peace, Andrew Van Loey a Netherlander, and others, that there might bee a treaty of peace, for that he had warrant thereunto from the King of Spayne. The Queene fearing least this were done cunningly underhand to breake off the amity betwixt her and the confederate provinces, and to allure them secretly to the Spanyards, differred the matter a while. But now to divert the warre which threatned on both sides, shee resolved to treat of peace, but with armed hands; neither indeede was the Prince of Parma against it.
11. In the moneth therefore of February were sent Commissioners into Flanders, Henry Earle of Darby, William Brooke Lord Cobham, Sir James a Crofts Controller of the Queenes household, Valentine Dale, and John Rogers Doctors of Law. Who, being receaved in the Dukes name with all curtesie, sent Dale presenty unto him to understand his minde about the place of meeting, and to see his commission from the King of Spayne. He appoynted the place neere Ostend, not in Ostend itselfe, which was now held by the English against the King. And as for his Commission, he promised it would be shewed when they met. But he wished they would hasten the matter, least any thing should happen in the meane time which might breake off the negotiation of peace. But Richardon said more openly, That hee knew not what might bee done in the meane time against England. Not long after, Rogers was sent to the Prince by the Queenes expresse commandement, to understand for certaine, whether there were any designe for invading of England, as he and Richardot seemed of late to signifie. He affirmed that hee never had any thought of invading England, when hee wished the matter to bee hastened; and was in a manner angry with Richardot, who denied that any such words had fallen from him.
12. The 12th day of Aprill there met with the English Commissioners tents neere Ostend, Count Arenberg, Champigny, Richardot, Mais a Doctor, and Garnier, sent in Commission from the Prince of Parma; who voluntarily gave the English Commissioners the prerogative of dignity, both in going and sitting. And when they had affirmed that the Duke had a sufficient warrant and authority to treate a peace, the English propounded that first a truce was to be concluded on. The other denyed it, for that it would be damageable to the Spanyard (who had mainteined a strong army now full sixe monethes) if a peace should not be agreed upon. The English urged that a truce was promised before they came into the Low-Countries. They on the contrary acknowledged that a truce was promised sixe Moneths before, but not accepted; and that it was not entirely in the Queenes power to make a truce for the Hollanders and Zelanders, who daily attempted hostile actions. The English urged that the truce might bee generall for all the Queenes territoryes and the Kingdome of Scotland. They refused to grant it but for foure townes onely in the Netherlands in the Queenes hands, that is to say, Ostend, Vlissing, Bergen-up-zome, and Briell; and that, during the treaty and twenty dayes next after, and in such termes as it should be lawfull in the meane time for the Queene of England to invade Spaine, and for the Spanyard to invade England out of Spaine and the Low-Countries. Whilest thus the time was prolonged from day to day about the truce and the place of meeting, which at length was appointed at Bourburg, Sir James a Crofts in his singular affection to peace went to Bruxells without acquainting the rest of the Commissioners, and propounded certaine articles in private; for which hee was afterwards through Leicesters accusation imprisoned, though in the judgement of the rest of the Commissioners the said articles were not to be misliked; but Commissioners must not passe the limits of their Commission. Lastly, when the English Commissioners could by no meanes wring from them that there might bee an utter abstincence from Armes, nor see the Prince of Parmas warrant to treate a peace, they propounded these things following: That the ancient leagues betwixt the Kings of England and the Dukes of Burgundy might be renewed and confirmed. That all the Netherlanders might fully enjoy their privileges, and serve God with freedome of conscience. That the Spanyards and forreyne soldiours might be removed out of the Netherlands, so as neither the Netherlanders nor the bordering Countries might have cause to feare them. Which things if they might be granted, the Queene would condescend to reasonable conditions concerning the townes of the Netherlands which she then had in possession (that it might appeare that not for her owne commodity, but for the necessary defence, as well of the Netherlands as of her selfe, shee had taken armes), so as the money which was due unto her from thence might be repayed. They answered, That there would bee no difficulty in renewing the antient leagues, when it would please them to have friendly conference together about the same. That there was no cause why foreine Princes should take care for the Netherlanders privileges, which were most benignly granted not onely to the provinces and townes that were reconciled, but even to those also which were reduced by force of armes. And for forein soldiours, they were retained upon urgent necessity, when Holland, England, and France had already taken armes. As for those townes which had beene taken from the King, and the mony expended, the Spanyard might demand as many myriads of duckets to be repaid unto him by the Queene, as hee had defrayed upon the Low-Country warre, from the time that shee supported the revolting Netherlanders, and tooke them under her protection.
13. About this time went Dale by the Queenes commandement to the Prince of Parma, and midly expostulated with him about a booke lately set forth by Cardinall Allen an Englishmen, wherein he exhorted the nobility and people of England and Ireland to joyne with the Spanish forces under the leading of the Duke of Parma, to execute the sentence of Sixtus Quintus Bishop of Rome, published already by Bull against the Queene of England, wherein she was declared an heritike, illegitimate, cruell against Mary Queene of Scotts, etc., and her subjects commanded to ayd the Prince of Parma, against her. (And indeede there was a great number of these Bulls and Bookes printed at Andwerpe, to be dispersed all over England.) The Duke denied that ever he saw any such booke or Bull, neither would he undertake any thing in the Byshop of Romes name, howbeit must obey his Prince. But for the Queene of England, he did so honour her for her royall vertues that next to the King his master hee observed her most, and desired to doe her service. That he had perswaded the King to condescend to this treaty of peace, which would bee more commodious for the English then for the Spanyards. For if the Spanyards were overcome, they would soone recover their losse; But if you (sayd hee) bee once vanquished, your kingdom is lost withall. To whom Dale replied, Our Queene is provided of strength sufficient to defend her kingdome; and you your selfe to your wisdome may judge that a Kingdom cannot easily be wonne with the fortune of one bataile, seeing the King of Spayne hath not yet with so long a warre recovered his ancient inheritence in the Netherlands. Be it so (said the Duke). These things are in the hands of the Almighty.
14. The Commissioners contended afterwards with mutuall replies one to another, and still spunne, as it were, and unspunne upon the same thread. When the English urged that a toleration of religion might be granted to the confederate provinces, at the leastwise for two yeares, it was answered, As the Spanyard demanded not this for the English Catholikes, so they hoped, the Queene in her wisedome would require nothing of him which might be against the honour, oath, and conscience of the Spanyard. When they demanded the money due by the Estates of Brabant, they answered, That it was lent without the Kings knowledge or warrant; but the amount being cast, how much the said money was, and how much the King had disbursed about the warre, it would be knowne whom most ought to be repayed. With such answers as these they dallyed with the English till the Spanish fleete was come to the coast of England and the thundering of the ordinance was heard from the sea. For then they received a safe conduct from the Prince of Parma, who had in the meanetime drawne downe all his forces to the sea coast, and were honorably conducted by his Commissioners to the borders near Calys [Calais]. Thus came this treaty to nothing, undertaken by the Queene (as the wiser sort have judged) to divert the Spanish fleete, and continued by the Spanyard to the end to surprise England unawares and unprovided. So as they seemed on both sides to sew the foxes skinne to the Lions.
15. The saide Spanish fleete, being the best appointed of men, munition, and all manner of provision of all that ever the Ocean saw, and called by the arrogant name of Invincible, consisted of 130 shippes. In which were:
Soldiours - 19299
Saylors - 8350
Galley-slaves - 2080
Great ordinance - 1630
Don Alphonso Perez de Gusman, Duke of Medina Sidoni, had the principall command thereof (for Don Antonio Columna, Duke of Paliano, and the Marquesse of Sancta Cruce, to whom this command was appointed, dyed both of them while the fleete was in rigging); and under him John Martinez de Recald, a most skillful seaman. The 29nd of May the fleete set sayle out of the river Tayo, and while it bent the course towards the Groign in Galicia, it was wholly scattered asunder by a hydeous tempest, and hardly mett againe some few dayes after at the Groign and other harbours neere threabouts, three gallyes being conveyed into France by the helpe of David Guinn an English slave, and treachery of the Turkish rowers. It was reported to bee so weatherbeaten and distressed that the Queene was certainely perswaded that this fleete was not to bee looked for this yeare, and Secretary Walsingham wrote to the Lord Admirall to send backe foure of the greatest shippes, as if the warre were now at an end. The Lord Admirall did not lightly beleeve it, and therefore by a gentle answere prayed that nothing might be rashly credited in so weightie a matter, and that he might retaine them though it were at his own charges. And taking the benefit of a favorable winde, he set saile toward Spaine, to surprise the enemies weatherbeaten shippes in the harbours. When he was not farre from the coast of Spain, the wind turned into the South, and he, who was commanded to defend the coast of England, fearing least with same winde they might arrive in Endland undiscryed, returned to Plimmouth.
16. With the same winde the Duke of Medina set saile with the whole fleete from the Groign the 12th day of July according to the accompt of the Julian yeare; and after a day or two, he sent Roderico Tely before into the Low-Countries to advertise the Prince of Parma of the comming of the fleet, and to put him in mind what was best to bee done. For hee had in charge to joyne with the Prince of Parmas forces and shipping, and to conduct them under the favour of his fleete into England, and withall to set the land forces on shore at the Thamis mouth. And now will I briefelie relate out of the most credible report as well of the Spanyards,as of our owne Countrymen, what was done every day in this voyage, that the truth may the more plainely appeare.
17. The 16th day there was a great calme, and a thicke fogge till noone; then the Northeast wind blew very strongly, and soone after the West wind, till midnight, and then the East-southeast winde, insomuch as the Spanish fleete being dispersed was hardly gathered againe, till it came within kenning of England the 19th day. Upon which day the Lord Admirall of England being certainely advertised by Flemming a Captaine of a Pinnace, that the Spanish fleete was entred into the British sea (which the common sort of saylers call The Channell), and was seene neere the poynt called The Lizard, towed the English fleete forth into the deepe sea, not without great difficulty, certainely with singular diligence and admirable alacrity of the saylers, chearing them with his owne presence amongst them at their halser [hawser] worke, the winde blowing sore into the haven.
18. The next day the English descryed the Spanish fleete with lofty towers castle-like, in front like a halfe moone, the hornes stretching forth about the breadth of seaven miles, sayling as it were with labour of the windes and groning of the Ocean, slowly though with full sailes; and willingly they suffer it to passe by, that they might chace them in the rere with a fore-right winde.
19. The 21st of July the Lord Admirall of England, sending a Pinnace before called the Defiance, denounced warre by discharging her ordinance, and presently with much thundering out of his owne shippe called The Arkroyall, he first set upon the Admirall [flagship] (as he thought) of the Spaniards (but it was Alphonso de Lenas ship). Soone after, Drake, Hawkins, and Forbisher played with their ordinance upon the hyndmost squadron, which was commanded by Recalde; who laboured all he could to stay his men that fled to the fleete, till his owne shippe being much battered with shott, and now growne unserviceable, hardly withdrew it selfe to the maine fleete. At which time the Duke of Medina gathered together his fleete scattered heere and there, and hoysing [hoisting] more sayle, held on his intended course. Neither could hee doe any other, seeing both the winde favoured the English, and their shippes would turne about with incredible celerity which way soever they would to charge, winde, and tacke about againe. And now had they maintained an hot fight the space of two houres, when the Lord Admirall thought not good to continue the fight any longer, for that 40 of his ships were not yet come in, being scarcely yet gotten out of the haven.
20. The next night following, the Saint Catharine a Spanish shippe, having beene much torne and battered in this fight, was taken into the middest of the fleet to be repaired. And an huge ship of Biscay, of Oquendas, in which was the Kings Treasurer, began to flame of a light fire by force of gun-powder, which was fired of purpose by a Netherland gunner which was mis-used. Yet was the fire soone quenched by shippes sent into helpe her; amongst which the gallioun of Don Pedro de Valdez, falling foule of another shippe, brake her foremast or boresprint, and being left behind, for that no man (the sea being troublous and the night dark) could come to rescue her, fell into Drakes hands as good prize, who sent Valdez to Dertmouth, and left the money to be rifled by his men. Hee, being commanded to carry a lanterne that night, neglected it, having five great hulkes in chace belonging to marchants of Germany, supposing them to bee enemies; whereby hee caused almost the whole English fleete to lye still, for that the night light was no where to be seene. Neither did hee and the rest of the fleete till towards night the next day recover sight of the Lord Admirall, who all the night before, with two shippes the Beare and the Mary-rose, followed the Spanish lanterne. All this day the Duke laboured securely in setting his fleete in order. To Alphonso de Lena hee gave in charge to joyne the first and the last squadron together; to every shippe he assigned hjis quarter to ride in according to the forme prescribed in Spaine, upon paine of death to those that should abandon their quarter. Glich an ensign-bearer he sent to the Prince of Parma, to shew him in what state hee was; and the aforesaid Biscaine shippe of Oquendas hee committed to the waves, having shipped the Kings money and the men into other shippes. Which ship fell the same day into the Englishmens hands, with about 50 sailers and soldiours, most pittifully maymed and halfe burnt, and was brought into the haven of Weymouth.
21. The 23rd day of the moneth, betimes in the morning, the Spaniards taking the benefit of a northerly wind, turned about against the English, who for their advantage soone turned aside towards the west. And after they had strived to get the wind one of another, they prepared themselves on both sides to fight, and fight they did confusedly and with variable fortune, whilest on the one side the English manfully rescued the shippes of London that were hemmed in by the Spanyards, and on the other side the Spanyards as stoutly delivered Recalde being in danger. Never was heard greater thundering of Ordnance on both sides, which nothwithstanding from the Spanyards flew for the most part over the English without harme. Onely Cock an Englishman died with honour in the middest of the enemies in a small shippe of his. For the English shippes, being farre the lesser, charged the enemie with marvelous agility, and having discharged their broad sides, flew forth presently into the deepe, and levelled their shot directly without missing at those great ships of the Spaniards, which were heavy and altogether unwieldy. And the Lord Admirall thought not good to hazard fight by grapling with them, as some unadvised people perswaded him. For the enemie had a strong army in the fleete, he had none. Their ships were far mo in number, of bigger burthen, stronger, and higher built, so as from those which defended aloft from the hatches nothing but certaine death would hang over the heads of those which should charge from beneath. And he foresaw that the overthrow would endamage him much more then the victory would availe him. For being vanquished he should have brought England into extreme hazard; and being conquerour, he should only have gained a litle glory for overthrowing the fleet and beating the enemie.
22. The 24th day of the moneth they ceassed on both sides from fighting. The Lord Admirall sent some of the smaller shippes to the next coasts of England to fetch powder and other provision for fight; and divided the whole fleete into foure squadrons, whereof the first he commanded himselfe, the second the committed to Drake, the third to Hawkins, and the fourth to Forbisher; and appointed out of every squadron certaine small vessels to give the charge from divers parts in the dead of the night; but being becalmed, his designe failed of the effect.
23. The 25th, which was Saint James his daye, the Saint Anne a galleoun of Portugall, which could not hold course with the rest, was set upon by certaine small English ships; to whose rescue cane Lena and Don Diego Telles Enriques with three Galleasses; which the Lord Admirall himselfe, and the Lord Thomas Howard in the Golden Lyon, towing three shippes with their boates (so great was the calme) charged in such sort with force of their ordinance, that much adoe they had, and not without losse, to free the Galleoun; and from that time no Galleasses would undertake to fight. The Spanyards report that the English the same day beate the Spanish Admirall in the utter squadron with their great ordinance neerer then before, and having slaine many men, shott downe her maine mast, but Mexia and Recalde in good time repulsed the English. That then the Spanish Admirall, assisted by Recalde and others, set upon the English Admirall, and that the English Admirall escaped by meanes of the winde turning. That the Spaniards from that time gave over the pursuite, and holding on to their course, dispatched a messenger againe to Parma to joyne his fleete with all speede with the kings Armado, and withall to send great shott. These things were unknowne to the English, who write that from one of the Spanish shipps they rent the lanterne, and from another the beakehead, and did much hurt to the third. That the Non-Pariglia and the Mary-rose fought a while with the Spanyards; and that other shippes rescued the Triumph which was in danger. Thus in the manner of the fights they which were present thereat doe not report the same things of the same, whilest every one on both sides mentioned what he himselfe observed.
24. The next day the Lord Admiral knighted the Lord Thomas Howard, the Lord Sheffield, Roger Townsend, John Hawkins, and Martin Forbisher, for their valour. And it was resolved, from thence forth to assaile the enemie no more till they came to the British fyrth or Straight of Calys, where the Lord Henry Seimore and Sir William Winter awayted their comming. So with a faire Etesian gale (which in our skie bloweth for the most part from the Southwest and by South cleare and faire), the Spanish fleete sailed forward, the English fleete following it close at the heeles. But so farre was it from terrifying the sea-coast with the name of Invincible, or with the terrible spectacle, that the youth of England with a certain incredible alacrity (leaving their parents, wives, children, cousins, and friends, out of their entyre love to their Country) hires shippes from all partes at their owne private charges, and joyned with the fleet in great number; and amongst others the Earles of Oxford, Northumberland, Cumberland, Thomas and Robert Cecyl, Henry Brooke, Charles Blunt, Walter Raleigh, William Hatton, Robert Cary, Ambrose Willoughby, Thomas Gerard, Arthur Gorges, and others of good note.
25. The Twenty Seaventh day of this moneth towards night, the Spanyards came to an anchor before Calys, being warned by the Pilots that if they proceeded any father it was to bee feared least they should bee driven by force of the tide into the North Ocean. And neere unto them also rode at anchor the Lord Admirall with his shippes within Canon shott of them; to whom Seimore and Winter joyned their shippes. And now were there in the English fleete 140 saile, all able shippes to fight, sayle, and winde about which way they would; yet were there not above fifteene which in a manner sustained and repulsed the whole weight of the fight. The Spaniards forthwith, as they had done many times before, urged the Duke of Parma, by messengers dispatched one after another, to send 40 fleiboates, that is, light vessels, without which they could not well fight with the English by reason of the the over greatnesse and slownesse of the Spanish shippes and the singular agility of the English; and they most earnestly prayed him to put to sea with his Army, which the Spanish fleete would protect as it were under her wings (so it was resolved) till they were landed in England. But hee being unready could not bee present at their call, his flatt-bottomed boates for the shallow channells leaked, his provision of victualls was not ready, and his sailers, having beene stayed hitherto against their wills, had withdrawne themselves. There lay watching also at the entrance of the havens of Dunkirke and Nieuport, whence he was to put to sea, the ships of warre of the Hollanders and Zelanders, so strongely provided of great ordnance and musketiers that hee could not put from shoare, unlesse he would wilfully thrust himselfe and his upon present death. And yet he, a skilfull and industrious warriour, seemed to omit nothing, being inflamed with desire of the conquest of England.
26. But Queene Elizabeths foresight prevented both his diligence, and the credulous hope of the Spanyards; for by her commandement, the next day after the Spanyards had cast anchor, the Lord Admirall made ready eight of his worst shippes, besmeared with wild-fire, pitch, and rosin, and filled with brimstone and other combustible matter, and sent them downe the winde into the dead of the night under the guiding of Young and Prowse, into the Spanish fleete. Which when the Spanyards espied approaching towards them, the whole sea being light with the flame thereof, supposing that those incendiary shippes, besides the danger of the fire, were also provided of deadly engins and murdering inventions, they raised a pittifull cry, weighed anchor, cutt their cables, and in a terrible panic feare, with great haste and confusion put to sea. Amongst which the great Galleasse, having broken her rudder, floated up and downe, and the next day fearefully making towards Calys, ranne aground upon the sands, and was fought withall with variable fortune by Amias Preston, Thomas Gerard, and Harney, Don Hugo de Moncada the Captaine being slaine, and the soldiours and rowers either drowned or put to the sword, and a great quantity of gold being pillaged. The shippe and ordnance fell to the Governour of Calys.
27. The Spanyards report that the Duke, when those incendiary ships approached, commanded the whole fleete to weigh anchor, yet so as having avoyded the danger, every ship should returne to his quarter. And certainely he returned him selfe, giving a signe to the rest to do the like by discharging a great peece, which notwithstanding was heard but of few, for that they being scattered all about, were driven for feare, some of them into the wide Ocean, and some upon the shallowes of Flanders.
28. In the meane time Drake and Fenner plaied hotly with their Ordinance upon the Spanish fleete that was gathering together againe over against Graveling; with whom presently after joyned Fenton, Southwell, Beeston, Crosse, Riman, and soone after, the Lord Admirall himselfe, the Lord Thomas Howard, the the Lord Sheffield. The Duke, Lena, Oquenda, Recalde, and the rest, with much adoe got cleere of the shallowes, and sustayned the charge all they could, insomuch as most of their shippes were very much torne and shot through. The galleoun Saint Matthew, under the command of Don Diego Pimentelli, comming to rescue Don Franciso de Toledo in the Saint Philip (which was before battered with many great shott by Seimore and Winter, driven neere Ostend, and againe shot through and through by the Zelanders, and taken by the Flushingers) was likewise taken, and the whole Spanish fleete most grievously distressed all the day long.
29. The last day of the moneth betimes in the morning, the West-north-west winde blew hard, and the Spanish fleete, labouring to returne to the narrow straight, was driven toward Zeland. The English gave over the chace, because (as the Spanyards thinke) they saw them almost carryed to their ruine; for, the West-north-west winde blowing, they could not but runne aground uppon the sands and the shallows neere Zeeland. But the wind turning presently into the South-west and by West, they sayled before the winde, and being cleere of the shallowes, in the evening they consulted what to doe; and by common consent it was resolved to returne into Spaine by the North Ocean, for that they wanted many necessaries, especially great shott, their shippes were torne, and no hope there was that the Prince of Parma could bring forth his fleete.
30. Wherefore being now carried forth into the deepe, they directed their course North-ward, the English fleete having them in chace; against which now and then they would head. And whereas most men thought they would returne, the Queene with a manly courage tooke view of her Army and Campe at Tilbury, and walking through the rankes of armed men placed on both sides, with a Leaders trunchion in her hand, sometimes with a martiall pace, and sometimes like a woman, incredible it is how much shee strengthened the hearts of ther Captains and Souldiers by her presence and speech.
31. The same day that last fight was, the Prince of Parma, after hee had made his prayers to our Lady of Hall, came somewhat late to Dunkirke, where he was receaved with opprobrious speeches of the Spanyards, as if in favour of Queene Elizabeth he had overthrowne a good opportunity to worke some noble exploit. The Duke, to give them some kinde of satisfaction, punished the purveyors of victuals, laughing in his sleeve at the insolencie of the Spaniards, for that hee had heard them boasting that whithersoever they went they carried assured victory along with them, and that the English would not once abide to looke them in the face. And surely now Bernardin de Mendoza vainely and falsely printed a Poeme in France of a triumph before the victory. Howbeit, that Parma might not come forth from Dunkirke, the Lord Admirall commanded the Lord Henry Seimore and the Hollanders to keepe watch upon the coast of Flanders, while he himselfe chaced the Spanyards till they were gone past Edinburgh Frithe in Scotland, anciently called Bodotria. For some there were which feared least they would have recourse to the King of Scotts, who was already exasperated for his mothers death. Certainely, Ashley the Queenes Embassadour in Scotland, to pacifie his minde, offered him this moneth large conditions, to weete, the title of a Dukedome in England, a yearely pension of 5000 pounds, a guard to bee maintayned at the Queenes charge, and other matters, whether out of his owne head or by commandement of others I cannot well say, nor doe I list to bee curious in searching; but upon him the blame fell, and the conditions were never performed.
32. But the Spanyards, now casting away all hope of returning, and seeking to save themselves by no other meanes by flight, stayed in no place. And thus the Armado, which had beene full three yeares in rigging and preparing with infinite expence, was within one moneth many times assailed, and at the length defeated with the slaughter of many men; not an hundred of the English being lacking, nor one small shippe lost, save only that of Cocks (for all the shott out of the tall Spanish shippes flew quite over the English shippes), and after it had been driven round about all Britaine, by Scotland, the Orcades, and Ireland, most grievously tossed, and very much distressed and wasted by stormes, wrackes, and all kind of miseries, at length returned home with dishonour. Whereupon moneys were stamped, some in memory thereof with a fleete flying with full sayles, and this inscription, VENIT, VIDIT, FUGIT, that is, IT CAME, IT SAW, IT FLED; others in honour of the Queene, with incendiary shipps and a fleete confused, and inscribed DUX FEMINA FACTI, that is, A WOMAN WAS A CONDUCTOR OF THE FACT. In their flight certaine it is that many shippes were cast away upon the coasts of Scotland and Ireland, and about 700 souldiours and saylers cast on land in Scotland, which at the intercession of the Prince of Parma to the King of Scotts, and by permission of Queene Elizabeth, were after a yeare sent over into the Low-Countries. But more unmercifully were those miserable wretches dealt withall, whose happe was to be driven by tempests into Ireland. For they were slayne, some of them by the wilde Irish, and some put to the sword by commandement of the Lord Deputy. For he, fearing least they would joyne with the Irish rebels, and seeing that Bingham Governour of Connacht, having beene once or twice commanded to shew rigour upon them which had yeelded themselves, had refused to doe it, sent Fowl Deputy marshall, who drew them out of their lurking holes and beheaded about 200 of them; which the Queene from her heart condemned as a matter full of cruelty. Heerewith the rest being terrified, sicke and starven as they were, they committed themselves to the sea in their broken vessels, and were many of them swallowed of the waves.
33. The Spanyards that returned imputed this misfortune to the Prince of Parmas negligence, and their owne obsequious wisedome, who thought it a fowle fault to breake the religious observance of their instructions. For by their instructions they were most strictly commanded not to attempt any thing before such time as the Prince of Parma had joyned his forces with theirs, and nothing was left to their own judgment and discretion as occasion should serve. Otherwise they bragge that they could very easilie have surprised the English fleete in the haven. And martiall men sharply disputed whether instructions were religiously to bee observed whatsoever should befall, least through neglect of obedience the royall authority and command should be violated; or whether they might upon necessity correct their instructions, and apply them to the present use according as new matters should arise, least weighty importances and opportunities to worke great matters should be lost.
34. The Spanish king himselfe bare the over-throw patiently, as receaved from God, and gave and commanded to bee given all over Spaine thankes to God and the Saints, that it was no more grievous; and used singular mercy in relieving the distressed souldiours and saylers.
35. Queene Elizabeth in like manner commanded publike rejoycing and prayers and thanksgiving to be used throughout all the Churches of England; and shee herselfe, going as it were in triumph, went with a very gallant trayne of noblemen through the streetes of London, which were hung with blew cloath, and the companies of the City standing on both sides with their banners in goodly order, being carried in a Charriot drawne with two horses (for coaches were not then so much in use amongst Princes as nowadayes they are amongst private men) to Pauls Church (where the banners taken from the Enemy were hung forth to bee seene), gave must humble thanks to God, and was present at a Sermon wherin the glory was given to God onely. To the Lord Admirall she assigned certaine rents for his service, and many times commended him and the Captaines of her shippes, as borne for the preservation of their Country. The rest shee graciously saluted by name as oft as shee saw them, as men of passing good desert (wherewith they held themselves well rewarded), and those that were hurt and poore she rewarded with reasonable pensions. The learned both at home and abroad, congtratulating the victory with hearts leaping for joy, wrote triumphall poems in all Languages.
36. This publique joy did Sir Robert Sidney augment, who returning out of Scotland assured the Queene that the King of Scotts did most constantly hold amity with her, that he sincerely embraced the true Religion, and would defend the same. This Sir Robert Sidney was sent unto him while the Spanish fleete yet hovered upon the coast of Brittaine, to congratulate his kindnesse towards the Queene, and acknowledge the same with thankes, to commend his cheerefulnesse for the defence of the common cause, and to promise her assistance to him in like manner if the Spanyards should land in Scotland. And moreover to put him in minde how ambitiously the Spanyard gaped after all Brittaine, urging the Bishop of Rome to excommunicate him, to the end both to deprive him of the kingdome of Scotland, and to exclude him from the succession in England; and also to advertise him, what manner of threats Mendoza and the Popes Nuncio had breathed out against him; and that therefore hee was to have a circumspect care of himselfe for feare of the Papists in Scotland. What time the King (that I may note it by the way) sayd merrily,That hee looked for no other favour from the Spanyard, then what Polyphaemus promised to Ulysses, namelye, that after all the rest were devoured, hee should bee the the last that was swallowed.
37. Neither was the common joy ever the lesse for Leicesters death (though the Queene tooke it most heavily), who about this time, namely the 4th day of September, dyed of a continuall feaver upon the way as he went towards Killingworth. Fift sonne he was to John Duke of Northumberland, one of King Edwards Privie chamber; under Queene Mary, who restored him, his brethren, and sisters in blood, hee was master of the English munition at the siege of Saint Quintin; and under Queene Elizabeth (who whom by reason of a certaine conjunction of their mindes, and that hapy through a hidden conspiracy of the starres, which the Greeke Astrologers terme Synastria, hee was most deere) hee was Master of the horse, chosen into the orders of Saint George, and Saint Michaell, of her Privy Councell, Lord Steward of her houshold, Chancellor of the University of Oxford, Justicer of the forests on this side the river of Trent, Lieuntenant and Captaine generall of the English forces in the Low-countries, Governour and Captaine generall of the united provinces of the Netherlands, and this yeare Generall of the English Army against the Spanyards. And who now in the very end of his life beganne to enter into new hope of honour and power by the highest authority of Lieutenancy under the Queene in the government of England and Ireland. Which indeede hee had allready obtained, the letters Patents being drawne, had not Burghley and Hatton prevented it and the Queene in time foreseene the danger of too great a power in one man. Hee was esteemed a most accomplished Courtiour, neate, free and bountifull to Martiall men and Students, skilfull to serve the time and his owne commodity; of an obsequious disposition, guilefull towards his adversaries, given a while to women, and in his later days doting above measure upon wiving. But whilest hee preferred envious power before sound vertue, his detractours apprehended large matter to speake reproovingly of him, who when hee was in his most flourishing estate disgracefully defamed him by libels, not without some untruths. To speake in a word, openly hee was accounted in the number of commendable men, but privily hee was ill spoken of by the most sort. But whereas hee was in the Queenes debt, <his goods were sold off at auction>; though in other things shee were favorable enough, yet seldome or never did shee remitt the debtes due to her Treasury.
38. The Prince of Parma being now frustrate of his designe for invasion of England, yet to winne some glory over the English with that puissant army provided against England, and withall to open a way into Zeland and free Brabant from incursions, besieged Bergen upon the river Zome, a towne of Brabant, strong both by naturall situation, and fortified also with workes round about, wherein the most part of the garrison were English. But this his enterprise was also disappoynted through the providence of the Lord Willoughby and the valour of the garrison. For ,though during the heart of the siege there grew whott [hot] dissention amongst them, whilest some favoured Sir William Drury, whom the Lord Willoughby Generall of the English made Governour of the towne, and some favoured Morgan, to whom the Queene had by her letters given the place, neverthelesse they all consulting for the common safety, bare themselves manfully, and by their sallies and military stratagems exercised the enemies in such sort that after 400 of them were slaine, taken prisoners, or drowned, whom Grimston and Redhead, feigning themselves to bee fugitives, had with great promises, protestations, and deepe oathes, drawne into a bulwarke of the towne, the Prince of Parma being out of all hope of barring up the haven and winning the towne, winter approaching, and victualls fayling, brake up the siege after two moneths. And the Lord Willoughby, to reward military valour, knighted Sir Francis Vere, who now began to grow famous, Sir Thomas Knolles, Sir Nicholas Parker, and Sir John Pooly, for their fortitude.
39. As England was troubled with outward warre, so did it travaile this yeare of an inward schisme also (for schisme evermore springeth up most rankely in the heate of warre). And certainly never did contumacious impudency and contumelious malepartnesse against ecclesiasticall majestrates advance itselfe more insolently. For when the Queen (who was ALLWAYES THE SAME) would not harken to Innovators in religion, who would (as she thought) cutt the sinnewes of the ecclesiasticall government and her royall prorogative, some of those which onely esteemed the discipline of the Church of Geneva thought there could not be any other meanes devised to establish the same in England, then by inveying against the English Hierarchy, and raising ill will among the people against the Bishoppes and Prelates. These men therefore set forth scandalouis bookes against both the Church government and Prelates, the titles whereof were Martin Marr-Prelate, Mineralls, Diotrephes, Demonstrations of discipline, etc. Wherein they belched forth most virulent calumniations and opprobryes in such scurrilous manner that the authors might seeme rather scullions out of the kitchen then followers of piety. Yet the authors thereof were Penry and Udall ministers of the word, and Job Throckmorton a learned man and a pleasant talker. Their favourers were Sir Richard Knightley and Wigston Knights, men otherwise good, grave, and wise (but circumvented by certaine Ministers, which aymed at some private respect of their owne). For which the sayd Knights had smarted by a grievous fine layed upon them in the Starre-Chamber, had not the Archbishop of Canterbury (such was his mildnesse) with much adoe intreated and obtayned a release thereof from the Queene.
40. Whilest these men (I say) by calumniations made way for their sayd discipline, others that had a hand in their counsailes begane to exercise the same in corners, contemning the authority of the lawes, holding synodes and conventicles in certaine places, and instituting presbyteries. And for this cause were called into question Thomas Cartwright, Edmund Snape, Andrew King, Proudlow, Payne, and other ministers of the word; whom some over-whott people conspired to deliver out of the magistrates hands. But how great the petulancie of these ministers was, which the Archbishop by his prudence and patience overcame, I leave to the ecclesiasticall historiographer, to whom it belongeth.
41. Now was that hydeous tempest blowen over, which thundered so threateningly out of Spaine. Neverthelesse there brake forth some blustering stormes as reliques thereof in Ireland and Scotland; and a more grievous tempest fell upon Spaine out of England, as afterward I will shew. For in Ireland, whilest the Lord Deputy Sir William Fitz-Williams searched after and rigorously exacted the Spaniards goods that were ship-wracked and cast on land, and in that respect imprisoned some as favourers of the Spaniards, amongst other things occasion was given and taken of those turbulent commotions which afterward brake forth.
42. Daniel Rogers, who was sent of late into Denmarke to condole the death of Frederic the second, and confirme the former amity with his sonne and successor, dealt with the Curators or guardians of the realme that the Danes might not serve under the enemies against the Queene of England; That arrestes of shippes might not be granted in the Straight of Denmarke, or the Sound, for private mens offences; That the fishing of Iseland, the liberty whereof was by the ancient league to bee renewed every seaven yeares, might not bee avoyded by new devises; That the custome in the sayd Sound might not be payed by the English but at their returne from the Baltick sea, and that in usuall money of Denmarke; That the owners might not suffer punishment for fraudes commited by pilots; That the packes of cloathes might be free from payment of impost; And that the custome called Lastgelt might be released to the English. But in regard of the Kings minority, these things were put off till another time. For the Danes were alike discontented with the English, for that they sailed now into Russia, not by that Straight of Denmarke, but by the coasts of Norway, Finmarch, Lapland, Scricsinia, and Biarmia. But Boris Theodorides, who was chosen successor in the Empire of Russia to Theodore Ioannides that dyed about the beginning of this yeare, omitted no meanes to helpe and releeve the English, seriously bending himselfe by all good offices to procure the amity of the Queene.
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