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Title: Elizabethan Sea Dogs
Author: Wood, William (William Charles Henry), 1864-1947
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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_1918, Yale University Press_

Printed in the United States of America


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, _Elizabethan 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 leadership 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.
















INDEX " 247




In the early spring of 1476 the Italian Giovanni Caboto, who, like
Christopher Columbus, was a seafaring citizen of Genoa, transferred his
allegiance 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 peninsula 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 credential. Surnames often
come from nicknames; and for a Genoese to be called _Il Caboto_ was as
much as for an Arab of the Desert to be known to his people as The
Horseman. _Cabottággio_ 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 naturalized in Venice. Patriotism
of the kind that keeps the citizen under the flag of his own country
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 startling. Italian experts entered the service of a
foreign monarch as easily as did the 'pay-fighting Swiss' or Hessian
mercenaries. Columbus entered 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 already 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 hundred 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 office
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 sons, received the following patent from the

_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, whatsoever Iles, Countreyes, Regions, or
Provinces, of the Heathennes 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, 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 such 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, and firme
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 exclude competition, and to exhort good subjects of the Crown to help
the Cabots in every possible way. This first of all English documents
connected with America ends with these words: _Witnesse our Selfe at
Westminster, the Fifth day of March, in the XI yeere of our reigne.

       *       *       *       *       *

_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
intention 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.

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
little _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 fête-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 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 VII 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 followed 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
disappeared from history and his second son, 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 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
complete 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 population has kept up a
constantly increasing demand for natural supplies of food. Basques and
English, Spaniards, French, and Portuguese, were presently fishing for
cod all round the waters of northeastern North 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 caravans 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 obstruction 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.

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 offered 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
navigation, 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 transcontinental connection with Cathay.

But that was under the wholly new conditions of the seventeenth century,
when both French 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 favored Columbus and the
south then as the memory of them does to-day. The four hundredth
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 anniversary 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 almost saw Elizabeth ascend
the throne in 1558. 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 celebrated 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.[1]

[1: An excellent facsimile reproduction of it, together with a copy of
the marginal text, is in the collections of the American Geographical
Society of New York.]

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 renewed 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
companions; 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 _Serchthrift_, our pinnace. And then, at
     the sign of the Christopher, 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.



The leading pioneers in the Age of Discovery were sons of Italy, Spain,
and Portugal.[2] Cabot, as we have seen, was an Italian, though he
sailed for the English Crown and had an English 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 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.

[2: 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.]

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 Portugal flourished in the sixteenth century,
New France and New England were yet to rise.

In the sixteenth century both France and England were occupied with
momentous things at 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 gradually 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 trumpeted 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 medieval weaknesses, become a strongly unified modern state, and
arm herself against any probable combination of hostile 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, 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
parliamentary 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 conversion, 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

Henry's unique distinction is that he effected the momentous change from
an ancient to a modern fleet. This supreme achievement constitutes 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 unerring eye for choosing the right
leaders. He delighted in everything to do with ships and shipping. He
mixed freely with naval men and merchant 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 revolutionized navigation. Nor was the King only a
patron. He invented a new type of vessel himself and thoroughly mastered
scientific gunnery. 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 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 constitution. 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, concentrated 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. Another and much
larger source 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 the French side of the Rhine and about domains
in Italy; besides which there were many points of violent rivalry
between things French and Spanish. 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 England 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 officially 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
continual struggle for an existence in which only the fittest survived.
Quickness was essential. Consequently vessels that could not increase
their speed were soon cleared off the sea.

Spain suffered a good deal by this continuous 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

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 monasteries 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 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
annals 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 defiantly on Francis. The English people rallied
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 depending 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 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 question 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_! sprang from the navy and the

       *       *       *       *       *

The Reformation quickened seafaring life in many ways. After Henry's
excommunication every Roman Catholic crew had full Papal sanction for
attacking every English crew that would 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 Protestant 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
Inquisition was a great deal more vigilant and businesslike 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 appeared to reject the accepted forms
of Catholic belief as well as the Papal forms of Roman discipline, the
hour had come to strike. War would have followed in ordinary times. But
the Reformation 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; Scotland 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 seafaring men among the
Protestants, as among those Catholics who were anti-Roman, took to
privateering more than ever. Nor was exploration 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 Lapland.
But Chancellor, his second-in-command, 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 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 _Serchthrift_, 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.



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

'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 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. Insomuch 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 hostage.
However, the Brazilians took Hawkins's word for it and released
Cockeram, who lived another forty years in Plymouth. 'Olde M. William
Haukins' was the father of Sir John Hawkins, Drake's companion in arms,
whom we shall meet later. He was also the grandfather of Sir Richard
Hawkins, another naval hero, and of the second William Hawkins, one of
the founders of the greatest of all chartered companies, the Honourable
East India Company.

Hawkins knew what he was about. 'Master Hore' did not. Hore was a
well-meaning, plausible 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 off 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 another vessel, chased the lawyers back to
England, and laid their case before the King, who 'out of his Royall
Bountie' reimbursed the Frenchmen and let the 'divers lawyers' go scot

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 landsmen 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 reason 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 by the scribe. The
original manuscript is now in Trinity College, Cambridge. It is a true
nautical composition--a very rare thing indeed; for genuine 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-how! 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.

   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!

   For when that we shall go to bed,
   The pump is nigh our beddës 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 extant. 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
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.

   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, victualling
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 discrepancy 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 repetitions of its shore-going rival: _With a comb and a glass in
her hand, her hand, her hand_, etc.

   _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 composition 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 seamanship. 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 Mediterranean 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 commander of the sea. Most of
the nautical technicalities would strike a seaman of the present day 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! Con her! Steady! Keep close!_ Our modern
sailor in the navy, however, would be hopelessly lost in trying to
follow directions like the following: _Make ready your cannons, middle
culverins, bastard culverins, falcons, sakers, slings, headsticks,
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.

'A sail!'

'How bears she? To-windward 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!'

'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 topsail 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 Sea!'

_He waves us to leeward with his drawn sword,_ _calls out 'Amain' for
the King of Spain, and springs his luff_[brings his vessel close by the

'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
broadside, 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 discharge, 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 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, midships, 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 clear, lest they should both burn together and
so sink: and, if they be generous, and the fire be quenched, they will
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 your berth to windward,
that we lose him not, in 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 your
directions 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 own; and if there
be either young women or aged men, use them nobly ..._

'Sound drums and trumpets: SAINT GEORGE FOR MERRIE 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 established 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 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

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 Episcopalian 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.
Nevertheless the Authorized Version is pure Elizabethan. 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 fourteen 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
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 thirteen 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 commanding. Though these two features just
prevented her from being a beauty, the bright blue eyes and the finely
chiselled nose were themselves quite beautiful enough. Nor was she less
taking 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--perfect 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.
Fortunately 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.
Government, 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 VII had saved money for
twenty-five years. His three successors had spent it lavishly for
fifty. Henry VIII had kept the Church Catholic in ritual while making it
purely national in government. The Lord Protector 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 handsome
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 constituent 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 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
estates permitted; but that whenever the Crown resources would not
suffice 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 acquired 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 approved.
Finally, every English freeman was required 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 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 overwhelming 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 defence and
for the court. The royal income rose. England became immensely richer
and more prosperous than ever before. Foreign trade increased 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 emerging from medieval ways
throughout the fifteenth century. With the beginning of the sixteenth
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 yeoman 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

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 the highways or sought their livelihood at sea or in London,
which provided the two best openings for adventurous young men. The
smaller provincial towns afforded them little opportunity, for there the
trades were largely in the hands of close corporations descended from
the medieval 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 Birmingham full of ringing
anvils, Sheffield 'a town of great name for the smiths therein,' Leeds
renowned for cloth, and Manchester already a sort of cottonopolis,
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 prohibitive 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 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

'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 speculation sent recruits into the sea-dog ranks. Elizabeth
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' 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
sometimes for more than all--that it was worth. A merchant-adventurer
would pay a capitalist, say, a thousand pounds as a premium to be
forfeited 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 life-and-death--insurance: an eloquent testimony to the
risks encountered in sailing unknown seas in the midst of well-known

Marine insurance of the regular kind was, of course, a very different
thing. It was already of immemorial age, going back certainly to
medieval and probably to very ancient times. All forms of insurance on
land are mere mushrooms by comparison. Lloyd's had not been heard of.
But there were plenty of smart Elizabethan underwriters 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 Elizabethan 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 ordinary 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 reasonable part of the risk. The modern
'underwriter,' all the world over, is the direct descendant of the
Elizabethan who wrote his name under the conditions of a given risk at

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,
medieval, 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 continued to have down to our own day, when they
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
company-promoter was abroad, in London, on 'Change, and at court. What
with royal favor, social prestige, general prosperity, the new national
eagerness to find vent for surplus commodities, 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 hundred 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 87-1/2 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 concerned would benefit by this
benevolent plan.

Ben Jonson and other playwrights were quick to seize the salient
absurdities of such an advertisement. 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

     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.'

The Newcastle coal trade grew into something very like a modern American
trust with the additional 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. 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 ye 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
speculation. 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
monopolists had either to deliver the goods or get out. Monopolists sold
dispensations from unworkable 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-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 exploiting but also extend her sphere of influence
over what she had not discovered? Spain said Yes. England said No. The
Spaniards looked for tribute. The English looked for trade. In
government, 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 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 threatened. 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
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, instead of being
sanely beautiful, they soon became insanely bizarre. 'An Englishman,'
says Harrison, '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 lightness of
our men. What shall I say of their galligascons 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. I might name hues devised for the nonce, ver d'oye
'twixt green and yallow, peas-porridge tawny, popinjay blue, and the

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.



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 universal 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 colonies--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; 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 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 neighbors, 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

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 business men on both sides
were always ready to do a good stroke for themselves.

This was the state of affairs in 1562 when young John Hawkins, son of
'Olde Master William,' went into the slave trade with New Spain. Except
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 Portuguese 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 Treasurer of the Royal Navy were
among the subscribers. 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 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 exchange 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 Lubeck_, a vessel of seven hundred tons which Henry VIII had
bought for the navy. 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 'appointed 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 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

John Sparke, the chronicler of this second voyage, 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 English eyewitness.

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

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 vegetables 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 proportionably 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 dugout canoes are very like primitive cradles.
Thus Sparke was the first man to record in English, from actual
experience, the aboriginal craft whose 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 Portugais, 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 tornados
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
townwards,' the officials let the sale of blacks go on. Hawkins was
particularly anxious 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 Christian to
provoke his prey to come to him; and thereupon came this proverb, that
is applied unto women when they weep, _lachrymoe 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 like hams. 'But to return to our purpose,' adds the
indefatigable Sparke, 'the captain in the ship's pinnace sailed along
the shore and went into every creek, speaking with divers of the
_Floridians_, because 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 colonizing French, and the persistently trading English.
There were, however, no Spaniards about at that time. This was the
second Huguenot colony in Florida. René de Laudonnière 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 flashing light should strike men blind. Florida became
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 their _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
fourscore ton, and two pinnaces of fifteen ton apiece by her ... and a
fort, in which their captain Monsieur Laudonnière 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 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 [Spanish] 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 Laudonnière, 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 expression 'at the request of the
soldiers did pass the arquebusers' from a 'very polite' Frenchman. Could
any one tell you more politely, in mistranslated 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 together, do suck through
the cane the smoke thereof, which smoke satisfieth their hunger, 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 Laudonnière 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 demi-Moor, bound and captive' in honor of
the great new English slave trade. The Spanish ambassador met him at
court and asked him to dinner, 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' somewhere 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 speech to his king. Philip had protested to
Elizabeth, 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
the lockjaw. After this the English 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, somewhat hardly, because the
King had straitly commanded all his governors by no means to suffer any
trade to be made with us. Notwithstanding, we had reasonable trade, and
courteous entertainment' 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, whereupon 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 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 officers
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 recomforted. 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 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 whoever
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 myself revolving the doubts, I thought better
to abide the jut of the uncertainty than of the certainty.' So, after
conditions had been agreed upon and hostages exchanged, the thirteen
Spanish ships sailed in. The little island remained in English hands;
and the Spaniards 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 off 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.
Hawkins 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 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

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 to put the _Judith_ on a lee
shore. Drake therefore 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 write of their adventures. David Ingram, following
Indian trails all round the Gulf 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. Philips 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 sorrowful 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.



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!_

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 Russell, son and heir of Henry's right-hand reforming 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 Gillingham 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 east wind of England,
Drake reveled in the kind of playground that a sea-dog's son should

During the reign of Mary (1553-58) 'hot gospellers' 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 London 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 something like his future raiding of the
Spanish Main; for the Channel swarmed with Protestant privateers, no
gentler, when they caught a Spaniard, than Spaniards were when they
caught them. He was twenty-two when he went out with Hawkins 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 Plymouth. 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, restored religion, secured
justice, and established peace.' The Spanish ambassador therefore
obtained 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 representative 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
everything 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 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 off; 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

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 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 commercial 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
daredevil 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 _Swan_, a hundred tons
between them, with seventy-three men, all ranks and ratings, aboard of
them. But both vessels were 'richly furnished with victuals and apparels
for a whole year, and no less heedfully 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 Plymouth, 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 bewrayed 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. 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 himself
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 desperadoes, 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, knowing nothing of Cape Horn, and unable to face the
appalling 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

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 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 _Westward Ho!_--and the third, of twelve men only, to
guard the pinnaces. Having found that the new fort on the hill
commanding 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 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
Oxenham'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 been shut into the
town, discovering how few the English 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
Bastimentos 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 reinforcement 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
diplomacy or war; and a delightful little comedy of 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 raiding Cartagena. Here Drake
found a frigate deserted by its crew, who had gone ashore to see fair
play in a duel fought about a seaman's mistress. 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 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
beginning; 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 reasonable 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 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 adventure 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 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

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
Têtu, a Huguenot just out from France, with seventy men. Têtu 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 Têtu'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 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 Têtu. 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
Têtu and two of his devoted Frenchmen to be rescued later. When they
arrived, worn out, at the rendezvous, 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 Frenchmen and one Englishman till he found
his boats. The plunder was then divided up between the French and the
English, while Oxenham headed a rescue party to bring Têtu to the coast.
One Frenchman was found. But Têtu and the other had been caught by

The _Pascha_ was given to the accumulated Spanish 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 hastening 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



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 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 England with a new friend,
Thomas Doughty, a soldier-scholar of the Renaissance, clever and good
company, but one of those 'Italianate' Englishmen who gave rise to the
Italian proverb: _Inglese italianato è diavolo incarnato--_'an
Italianized 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
impotent 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,
reinforced by others, therefore mutinied and sacked 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 shining 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 Elizabeth, 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 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 annoy
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 Queen
of Scots was watching for the throne. Plots and counter-plots were

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 subsequent audience 'Her Majesty gave me
special commandment that of all men my Lord Treasurer should not know of
it.' The cautious Lord Treasurer Burleigh was against what he considered
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 Doughty, the viper in Drake's
bosom, was meditating 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 terrible, 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, on the 15th of November,
1577. The court and country were in great excitement over the conspiracy
between the Spaniards and Mary Queen of Scots, now a prisoner of nine
years' standing.

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 exceedingly 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, carrying with him
expert musicians, rich furniture (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 workmanship whereby the civility and
magnificence of his native country might amongst all nations
withersoever he should come, be the more admired.'[3]

[3: 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 couleurs, specially of stamel (fine worsted), brode cloth of
orient couleurs 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 certayne shewe
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 customers]. '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.
Hullocke [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 Xante and excellent French vinegar and
a fine kind of Bisket steeped in the same do make a banketting dishe.
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 London 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.']

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 darkness, and withal horrible, fearful, and
intolerable 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 downright 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 measures 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

Drake solemnly 'pronounced him the child of Death and persuaded him
that he would by these 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
execution, 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 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; 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 patriotism. '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
Portugal! 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 servants
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 promoters 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 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 consecutive
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 judgment. At last the gale abated near Cape Horn, where Drake
landed with a compass, while Parson 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 warning had reached the Spanish Pacific when Drake stood
in to Valparaiso. Seeing a sail, the crew 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 boarders who laid about them with a will and soon drove the
Spaniards below. Half a million dollars' 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 defeated
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 invasion. Their crews were small, their lumbering vessels
very lightly armed, their towns unfortified.

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 Spaniard from Potosi fast asleep with thirteen bars of
silver by him. The bars were lifted quietly and the Spaniard left
sleeping peacefully. Another 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 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 followed 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 Señora
de la Concepcion_, 'the chiefest 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 hundred 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. 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. Another week
passed with every stitch of canvas set. A fourth prize, taken off Cape
San Francisco, 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-ho!_ 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 chase was called the
'Spitfire' by the Spaniards because she was much better armed than any
other vessel there. But, all the same, her armament was nothing for her
tonnage. The Spaniards trusted to their remoteness for protection; 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!
Señor Juan de Anton, or I must send you to the bottom!--Come aboard and
do it yourself!_ bravely answered 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 overside to port; and there was the English
pinnace, from which forty English boarders were nimbly climbing up his
own ship's side. Resistance 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 Drake, 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 official 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-_fire_ but of the new

The prisoners were no less gratified than surprised by Drake's kind
treatment. He entertained Don Anton at a banquet, took him all over the
_Golden Hind_, and entrusted him with a message to Don Martin, the
traitor of San Juan de 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 officer 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 expressions 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 English 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 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 ordered 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 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
evading 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 dangerous 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 narratives 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°. In 48° 'there followed
most vile, thick, and stinking fogs' with still more numbing cold. The
meat froze when taken off 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, anyway; 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
commanders, 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 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
rejoicing in our exercises.' As this impromptu service ended the Indians
gave back all the presents 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 without 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 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 continued 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 woefull complayntes and moans
with bitter tears, and wringing of their hands, and tormenting of
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 pestilential 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 reception 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 could stow away and concluded a sort of understanding
which formed the sheet anchor of English diplomacy in Eastern seas for
another century to come. Elizabeth 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 January,
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
straining 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 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 provisions. 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 towards 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 being launched. There
were perils enough to follow: dangers of navigation, the arrival of a
Portuguese 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 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 found
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 Spain. Worse still, this
annexation gave Philip 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 Elizabeth'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 Elizabeth 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 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 Hatton, all members of Drake's
syndicate, refused to sign; while Elizabeth herself, the managing
director, suspended the order till her further pleasure should be known.
The Spanish ambassador 'did burn 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 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 reprisals. 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 volunteers. 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
adventures and rich prizes. His name and fame became 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 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
ambassador 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 subjects, 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 bid thee rise, Sir Francis Drake!_



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 factors
that made for war in the knotty problem 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 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 possessions, with
more galleons under construction at Santander in Spain, and with the
galleons of the Indian Guard built by the great Menendez to protect New
Spain: with all this performed or promised, Philip began to feel as if
the hour was at hand when he could do to England what she had done to

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 uppermost 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 this the English ships were carefully divided among the three
squadrons meant to defend the approaches to England, Ireland, and
Scotland, because, 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 councillors 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

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 'plantation' of Virginia, were being delighted with the 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 Portugal 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 supply his country's needs at once. Every
available 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 merchandise, imprisoned the
men, and taken the ships 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 Hawkins had got his own
again from Philip. In 1571, three years after Don Martin's treachery at
San Juan de Ulna, 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
Spanish dollars in their pockets, and paid Hawkins forty thousand
pounds, the worth of about two million dollars now. Then Hawkins used
the information 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.
Bartholomew. 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 to join Drake's flag at Plymouth. Very probably
Shakespeare went down too, for that famous London 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 intended for disavowal if necessity arose, no prospectus 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 officers that made it a
national affair. Drake, now forty, was 'Admiral'; Frobisher, of
North-West-Passage fame, was 'Vice'; Knollys, 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
forward to a man, among them Wright, 'that excellent 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 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 hurried off
to sea under a press of sail.

The first port of call was Vigo in the northwestern 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 party and brought 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
highest 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
communication just when Philip stood most in need of its help for
completing the Great Armada.

But, like a mettlesome steeplechaser, Drake took a leap in his stride
during the preliminary 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 accession, 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, therefore, were not
going to wait to meet the English 'Dragon' too. The force that marched
inland failed to unearth the governor. So San Domingo, Santiago, and
Porto Pravda 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 place as a New Year's gift for 1586. But again
there was no treasure. The Spaniards had killed off 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 inaccessible places. Drake then put the town up to
ransom and sent out his own Maroon boy servant to bring in the message
from the Spanish officer proposing 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 interchange of courtesies and
hospitalities immediately followed. But no business was done. Drake
therefore 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 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
mainland. 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 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 dismay of the Spaniards. After some more very
clever manoeuvres, to distract the enemy's attention 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
entrenchments 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 Goring had wounded and taken their commander. The
enemies ran pell-mell through the town together 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.

But again there was a dearth of booty. The Spaniards were getting shy of
keeping too many valuables where they could be taken. So negotiations,
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 programme or even to take Havana,
in view of the renewed sickness, the losses, and the advance of the
season. A further disappointment was experienced when Drake just missed
the treasure fleet by only half a day, though through no fault of his
own. Then, with constantly diminishing numbers of effective 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
preferred 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 Burleigh: '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 the Atlantic was soon to
be matched by the still greater gap Drake was to make on the European
side by destroying the Spanish Armada 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, supported 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
devastating raid. The English were exultant, east and west; for the
_True Report of a Worthie Fight performed in the voiage from Turkie by
Five Shippes of London against 11 gallies and two frigats of the King of
Spain at Pantalarea, within the Straits_ [of Gibraltar] _Anno 1586_ was
going the rounds and running a close second to Drake's West India
achievement. The ignorant and thoughtless, both 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 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 if 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 instructions 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 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 sailing ship the corresponding crosspiece. 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 completely out of action for months
to come, though fifteen sail escaped destruction in the inner harbor.
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. Remembering the terrors of
Italian textbooks, he had continued 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, 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 continuous
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 woodwork 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 honors 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 cliffs 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.
Taking it was, of course, out of the question without a much larger
fleet accompanied by an overwhelming 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, Borough 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 understand. 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 hailed 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

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 equivalent 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
produce on international affairs. Suffice it to say 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 steadily for official sanction in this most
promising direction. 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

So ended the famous campaign of 1587, popularly 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.



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 Armada up the English
Channel as far as the Netherlands, where Parma would be ready with a
magnificent Spanish army waiting aboard troopships 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
communications 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 surrounded 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
possible fighting, risk, or loss, said the mere politician, Philip, and
then crush Drake if he annoys you.

Early and late persistent Philip slaved away upon this 'Enterprize of
England.' With incredible 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 semblance 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 troopships 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 useless 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
dispatches he begged for more and better guns. All Philip could do was
to authorize the purchase of whatever guns the foreign merchantmen in
Lisbon 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 under bandylegged, sea-sick Sidonia as he was
unwilling to command them. Volunteering ceased. Compulsion failed to
bring in the skilled ratings urgently required. The sailors were now not
only fewer than ever--sickness and desertion had been thinning their
ranks--but many of these few were unfit for the higher kinds of
seamanship, while only the merest handful of them were qualified as
seamen gunners. Philip, however, was determined; 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

Meanwhile the English had their troubles too. These were also political.
But the English navy was of such overwhelming strength that it could
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 Admiral 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 professional
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 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 perfected by Nelson and
thence passed on, with many new developments, to the British Grand
Fleet in 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
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 purposely kept so low. Drake and Howard, so the story
goes, were playing a game of bowls on Plymouth 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 Spaniards too.' The shortness of food and ammunition 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
catch the Great Armada in himself; for the Spaniards, coming up with the
wind, might catch him struggling 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 advantage back again. All afternoon and evening,
all through that summer night, the sea-dog crews were warping out of
harbor. Torches, flares, and cressets 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_! told that all the sail the ships could carry was being made
for a life-or-death effort to win the weather gage. Thus beat the heart
of naval England that momentous night in Plymouth Sound, while beacons
blazed from height to height ashore, horsemen spurred off post-haste
with orders and dispatches, and every able-bodied landsman stood to

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
reinforcements. 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 outnumbered the Spanish seamen, utterly surpassed
them in seamanship, and enjoyed the further advantage of having far
handier vessels to work. 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 English 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 proper naval means to win it. 'Trust in the Lord--and keep your
powder dry,' said Oliver Cromwell 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 perfect 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 piecemeal in the offing when still with his aftermost ships in
the Sound. So, with this true idea, unworkable because based on false
information, the generals and admirals dispersed to their vessels and
waited. But then, just as night was closing in, the weather lifted
enough to reveal Drake's astonishing position. Immediately pinnaces went
scurrying 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 distracted 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 westerly
slant in the shifting breeze, edged in to starboard. 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 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 advantage, 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, concentrating at will on any given
target; and did all this with well-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 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 thoroughly
modern line-ahead. Any one who will take the letter T as an illustration
can easily understand 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 upright, 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 medieval
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 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 undaunted 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 dauntless 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 untrained
to the exact combined manoeuvres required in a fighting fleet, though
first-rate individually. There was then no night signal equivalent to
the modern 'Disregard the flagship's movements.' 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 station when suddenly a Spanish flagship loomed up beside
his own flagship the _Revenge_. Drake immediately 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
collision 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, complimenting 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
courtesies, placed him at his own table and lodged him in his own
cabin.' Drake's enemies at home accused 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 Netherlands. 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
disorderly flight. Seeing the impossibility of bringing the leewardly
vessels back against the wind in time to form up, Sidonia ran down with
the windward 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 medieval 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 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.



The next year, 1589, is famous for the unsuccessful 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 off any possible blow, yet the nervous landsmen
wanted Corunna and other ports attacked and their shipping destroyed,
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.

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 punctilio 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, 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 Portuguese 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 Hanseatic 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 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 VIII, had the faculty of rhyme, and, in a set of verses very
popular in their own day, showed what the Grenville family ambitions

   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 enjoyed
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 idéal_ 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 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
gentlemen-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 off, cut his cables, and work to windward of
the overwhelming Spaniards.

Grenville'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 hundred tons,'
ranging up on his weather side, blanketed his canvas and left him 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 immortal
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 station 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 Grenville, thanking her gallant skipper, ordered 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
vessels closed. _Repel boarders!_ shouted Grenville 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 already 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
entanglement of masts, spars, sails, and rigging. The undaunted
survivors stood dumb as their silent cannon. But every Spanish hull in
the whole encircling ring of death bore marks of the _Revenge's_ rage.
Four hundred Spaniards, by their own admission, 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 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 officers stood hat in hand, 'wondering at his
courage 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 religiously 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 departeth 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 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
parties--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 barriers of Spain,
England had ceased to be merely an island in a northern sea and had
become the mother 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
     purveyor 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 delightful
     refreshing; 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

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.

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.



Conquerors first, prospectors second, then the pioneers: that is the
order of those by whom America was opened up for English-speaking
people. No Elizabethan colonies took root. Therefore 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 permanent 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 prospectors in their way. So
were the soldiers, gentlemen-adventurers, and fighting traders in
theirs. On the other hand, some of the prospectors themselves belong to
the class of conquerors, while many would have gladly been the pioneers
of permanent colonies. Nevertheless the prospectors 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 different 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 purpose of his life: _I shall yet live
to see it an Inglishe 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 case he won the royal favor, was granted monopolies, 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 Office, 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 vendible 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 Indies, lost a ship, and returned without a fortune.
Next year he was forbidden to repeat the experiment.

The project then languished until the fatal voyage 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
propriety 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 Newfoundland. 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 to
the Lilliputian ten-ton _Squirrel_, which was woefully top-hampered with
guns and stores. Before leaving Newfoundland he was implored to abandon
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. Prospecting 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 intervening waters, were all explored with enthusiastic
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 authorizing 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 Raleigh's cousin, convoyed out
to Roanoke the little 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,
instead 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 departed 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 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
distinguished 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 nineteen sail of ships, both small and
great; and all the villages and towns that ever I landed at I burned and

While Cavendish was preying on Spanish treasure 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 twelve associates
received incorporation as the 'Governor and Assistants of the City of
Ralegh in Virginia.' The fortunes of this ambitious city were not unlike
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 estranged.

After a month Governor White went home for more men and supplies,
leaving most of the colonists at Roanoke. He found Elizabeth, Raleigh,
and the rest all working to meet the Great Armada. Yet, even during the
following year, the momentous year of 1588, Raleigh managed to spare two
pinnaces, with fifteen colonists aboard, well provided 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 refreshment' and a Spanish
prize that they sailed past Croatoan, refusing to stop a single hour.

Perhaps White learnt more than is recorded and was satisfied that all
the colonists were dead. Perhaps not. Nobody knows. Only a wandering
tradition comes out of that impenetrable mystery 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 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 1603; 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 Cuttyhunk Island. Here, on
a little island in a lake--an island within an island--he built a fort
round which the colony was expected to grow. But supplies 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 England.

The following year, 1603, just after the death of Queen Elizabeth, some
merchant-venturers of Bristol sent out two vessels under Martin Pring.
Like Gosnold, Pring first made the coast of Maine and then felt his way
south. Unlike Gosnold, however, he 'bore into the great Gulfe' of
Massachusetts Bay, where he took in a cargo of sassafras at Plymouth
Harbor. But that was all the prospecting 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 well-known character in the subsequent history
of New England. Lord Southampton, as Shakespeare'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, kidnapped
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 authorized 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,'
afterwards called the Plymouth Company, was authorized to settle any
place between 38° and 45° 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 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'
[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 tantalizing 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 fortune to the full. During
the travesty of justice at his trial the attorney-general, having no
sound 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
Elizabethan 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, Elizabeth Throgmorton, most beautiful of all
the late 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 cogitations (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 Spaniards 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 king's cupidity was roused; and so, in 1617, Raleigh was
commissioned as the admiral of fourteen sail. In November he arrived off
the coast that guarded all the fabled wealth still lying undiscovered 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.



Drake in disfavor after 1589 seems a contradiction 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. Elizabeth 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 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
distinction 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 still strong; Elizabeth in certain
moods belonged to it; and an incident which took place about this time
seemed to give weight to the arguments of the defensivists. A small
Spanish force, obliged to find water and provisions in a hurry, put
into Mousehole in Cornwall and, finding no opposition, 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 supersensitive 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 expedition 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, 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 assault; 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 officers beside him, and wounded many
more. In the meantime Hawkins, worn out by his exertions, had died. This
reception, added to the previous 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-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 running
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 surrounding 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 taking the
alarm--_The Dragon's back again!_ Meanwhile 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 beginning for 1596, the centennial year of England's first
connection with America.

'Since our return from Panama he never carried mirth nor joy in his
face,' wrote one of Baskerville'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 Baskerville,
'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.'

So they stood out from that pestilential Mosquito 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 command. The frenzy passed away. He fell
exhausted, 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 muffled drums rolled
out their last salute and trumpets wailed his requiem.



In the sixteenth century there was no hard-and-fast distinction 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. Consequently 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.

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
medieval 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 under 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 discovering America the
Venetians had evolved the merchant-galleasse for their trade with
London: they called it, indeed, the _galleazza di Londra_. Then, by
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
important 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 life and death always
dependent on sea power, and with so many men of every class following
the sea, there was at all events the biggest rough-and-tumble school of
practical seamanship 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 galleasse with much more sail and much
less in the way of oars; secondly, from this to the purely sailing

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 throughout; 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 à 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. Court 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
compliments; 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 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 architecture,
rather the reverse. She was the last great English ship of medieval
times. Twenty-five years after the Field of the Cloth of Gold, Henry was
commanding 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 or the
cruiser. And, in Henry VIII's fleet of 1545, the 'row-barge' was the
principal 'mosquito' craft, like the modern torpedo-boat, destroyer, or
even submarine. 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. Broadside 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

The pinnace showed the same sort of improvement during the same
period--from Drake's birth under Henry 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 anything 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 a Spanish galleasse or absurdly castled
galleon like a lancer on a well-trained charger round a musketeer
astraddle on a cart horse.[4] 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.

[4: Fuller in his _Worthies_ (1662) writes: 'Many were the wit-combats
betwixt him [Shakespeare] and Ben Jonson, which two I beheld like 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 tides, tack about, and take
advantage of all winds by the quickness of his wit and invention.']

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 Attaché (as we should call him now)
reported to Charles V that Henry had begun '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 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-finding 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 strategy
and tactics. Taken together, these improvements 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.


A complete bibliography concerned with the first century of
Anglo-American affairs (1496-1596) would more than fill the present
volume. But really informatory 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. Nicholls' _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. 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.'
_Shakespeare'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 Modern Ships_. There is no nautical dictionary devoted to
Elizabethan 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 life of the sea-dogs, gentlemen-adventurers, and
merchant-adventurers should be studied in Hakluyt'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 accompaniment 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

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. Politics, policy, 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 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 accounts of his famous fights and voyages do not
bring out the supreme significance of his influence as an admiral, more
especially 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-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 all the most
interesting letters and is a competent work of its own kind. Oldys'
edition of Raleigh's _Works_ 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 Cassell's National Library. W.G. Gosling's _Life of Sir
Humphry 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 Elizabethan 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 Gentleman, Anno 1580, to M. Arthure Pette and to M. Charles
Jackman, sent by the Marchants of the Muscovie Companie for the
discouerie of the northeast strayte, not all together vnfit for some
other enterprises of discouerie hereafter to bee taken in hande._

See also in _The Encyclopaedia Britannica_, 11th Ed. the articles on
_Henry VIII_, _Elizabeth_, _Drake_, _Raleigh_, etc.


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

  Amadas, in America (1584), 151, 210

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

  _Angel_, The, ship, 86

  Anton, Señor 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

  Aviles, Don Pedro Menendez de, 86

  Azores, 150, 169, 194

  Baber, Sultan in the Moluccas, 141

  Bacon, Francis, Lord, 62, 210

  Balboa crosses Isthmus of Panama (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;
     Cabottággio, 2;
     reaches Cape Breton (1497), 7;
     returns to Bristol, 7;
     receives a present 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 expedition to America, 9;
     leaves men to explore Newfoundland, 9;
     coasts Greenland, 12;
     explores Atlantic Coast, 12;
     enters service of Ferdinand of Spain as Captain of the Sea,' 15;
     Charles V makes him 'Chief Pilot and Examiner of Pilots,' 15;
     determines longitude of Moluccas, 15;
     voyage to South America, 15;
     makes a map of the world, 15;
     leaves Spain for England(1548), 16;
     receives pension from Edward VI, 16;
     feasts at Gravesend with the _Serchthrift_, 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

   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. Lawrence, 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 France, 23-24;
     hostile to England, 29;
     Spanish dominion, 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 anniversary 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 Newman, 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;
     considered a god by the Indians, 138 et seq.;
     arrives at Moluccas, 141;
     lays foundation of English diplomacy in Eastern seas, 142;
     _Golden Hind_ 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
     raid on New Spain, 156;
     captures Santiago and San Domingo, 157;
     takes Cartagena, 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, 68-69;
     commandeers Spanish gold, 99;
     deposed by Pope, 100;
     tortuous Spanish policy, 117;
     consults Drake, 119;
     receives Drake on his return, 146;
     banquets on the _Golden Hind_, 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

   _Elizabeth_, 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 King!_ 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

   _Hakluyt's Voyages_, 33

   Hakluyt Society, 242 et seq.

   Harriot, Thomas, 212

   Harrison's description of England, 69-70

   Hatton, Sir Christopher, 127, 146

   Hawkins, Sir John, son of William Hawkins, 34;
     enters slave trade with New Spain (1562), 74;
     takes 300 slaves at Sierra
     Leona, 75;
     second expedition (1564), 75;
     issues sailing orders, 76;
     John Sparke's account, 77;
     at Teneriffe, 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 voyage (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 Ulua, 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;
     bibliography, 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 service 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 office of the Admiralty, 21;
     a patron of sailors, 22;
     menaced by Scotland, 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 à Dieu_, The, ship, 234

   Honduras, 156, 228

   Hore, his voyage to America, 33 et seq.

   Hortop, Job, 94

   Howard of Effingham, 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

   Jefferys, 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

   Knollys, 154

   _La Dragontea_, by Lope de Vega, 157

   La Hacha, 156, 227

   Lane, Ralph, 162, 196, 212

   La Rochelle, 100

   Laudonnière, René de, 82 et seq.

   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, 140, 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

   Mendoza, 119

   Menendez, 115, 150

   Middleton, Captain, 197

   _Minion_, The, ship, 86, 91 et seq.

   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., 12O, 135, 156, 227

   Norreys, Sir John, 176, 193

   Northwest Passage, 120, 137

   Oxenham, John, 105, 109, 116, 144

   Pacific Ocean, taken possession
     of by Balboa (1513), 18;
     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, 115; soldiers
     sack Antwerp, 116; seizes
     Portugal, 144; prepares a
     fleet, 150; Paris plot with
     Mary, 150; seizes English
     merchant fleet, 152; duped
     by Hawkins, 153; his credit
     low, 163; resumes mobilization,
     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, 152

   Pring, Martin, 217

   Puerto Bello. 229

   Purchas, Samuel, 203

   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, 192-204

   Ribaut, Jean, 82

   Roanoke Island, 162, 210 et 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 et seq.

   Santa Marta, 156, 227

   Scilly Isles, 114, 115, 153

   _Serchthrift_, 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

   _Squirrel_, The, ship, 210

   _Swallow_, The, ship, 86

   _Swan_, The, ship, 101, 106, 109, 121, 129

   Teneriffe, 77-78

   Ternate, Island of, 141, 142

   Têtu, Capt., 112 et seq.

   Throgmorton, Elizabeth, 220

   _Tiger_, The, ship, 60, 85, 154

   Torres Vedras, Lines of, 194

   Vasco da Gama finds 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!_ 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

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