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probability, the first court-martial held in the British navy. Whether the sentence pronounced by Drake was confirmed at home, or the mercy of the Queen interposed (as was probably the case), does not appear. The summing up and the sentence are judicious, and most justly and forcibly expressed ; moreover, the charges and finding anticipate, almost in words, the provisions of our present Articles of War,* passed 160 years after the period in question.
Drake, after his return, had little respite on shore.
* ART. 15.--Every person in or belonging to the fleet who shall run away with any of her Majesty's ships or vessels of war, or any stores, &c. belonging thereto, to the weakening of the service, shall suffer death.
ART. 19.- Any person making or endeavouring to make any mutinous assembly, &c. shall suffer death.
The two aforesaid cases plainly show the lamentable state in which many of our old and valuable historical documents are found, defective in numerous instances, mutilated in more. The judgment passed by Julius Cæsar must be somewhere, but the question is where? What has here been given was only rescued very recently from a private closet; to trace the remainder would be a hopeless and a fruitless task. To rummage the State Paper Office, the Privy Council Office, the library of Lambeth Palace, the Tower of London, and the other repositories of the Master of the Rolls, would end in disappointment, which would be avoided, if the British Museum was made, as it ought to be made, the General Repository of all public national documents ; and then perhaps might be brought forth to public view the hidden treasures that are now so closely closeted at Hatfield House, the accumulation of Queen Elizabeth's Lord High Treasurer Burleigh, and many other valuable records from places where they are excluded from the public eye.
At the very commencement of the following year, 1588, the great exertions of Spain to procure a large naval armament, and the vast preparations by the Duke of Parma in the Netherlands, called for the continuance of the fleet in commission, and for an increase of its numbers. Drake hoisted his flag in the Revenge, and the Lord High Admiral in the Ark Royal; Drake being appointed his Vice-Admiral. To these two, in the first instance, was the charge given by the Queen of putting the fleet into a state of preparation. Of the important part that Drake took in defeating the invasion of England, attempted by the Spaniards, and foiled by the British fleet, in which the choicest officers then in the naval service were employed, it would be a waste of the reader's time to repeat. It is to be found in all our annals, down to the present day ; but there is one person, who held the first station in that fleet, and was supreme over the rest, who has certainly not had, at any time, that share of praise which is eminently due to him ; not alone for the wise conduct he pursued in his arrangement of, and instructions for, the British fleet when in presence of the enemy, but for the unremitting attention, the anxious watchfulness, the constant and almost daily information given to her Majesty's ministers,—and the manly and straightforward advice offered directly to the Queen herself, previous to the appearance of the enemy, as well as his care and benevolence towards the seamen of the fleet, when distress and sickness had oppressed them after the defeat of the enemy-all of which will be exhibited in the following memoir of the life, character, and actions of Lord Charles Howard of Effingham, the Lord High Admiral, in a series of letters written by himself, and for the first time made public, from autographs in the State Paper Office and British Museum.
In the anxiety of ascertaining what the Spaniards were about, the Lord High Admiral and Drake proceeded towards the coast of Spain, which the Queen deemed to be of dangerous consequence to the coasts of the kingdom; but the Admiral satisfied her it was right, and Drake enclosed his opinion in justification of it.
then wae coast of have the
Sir Francis Drake's OPINION, &c.—1588, July 4.
To mayntayne my opinion that I have thought it meeter to goe for the coast of Spayne, or at least more neerer then wee are now, are these reasons followinge, writen aboarde her Majestie's
good ship the Revenge, this forth of July, 1588. The first that, hearinge of some parte of the Spanish fleete uppon our coasts, and that in severall fleetes, the one of 11 sayle, the other of six sayle, and the last of 18, all theise beinge seene the 20th and 21th of June, since which time, wee beinge uppon the coaste of ffraunce, could have noe intelligence of theire beinge theire, or passinge through our channell, neither hearinge uppon our owne coast of theire arrivall in any place: And speakinge with a barke which
came lately out of Irelande, who can advertise nothinge of theire beinge in those partes, I am utterly of opinion that they are returned, consideringe what wynds they have had since that time : otherwise they could have beene here without our knowledge.
I say further, that if they bee returned our stayinge he re in this place shall but spende our victuall, whereby our whole action is in perill, noe service beinge done.
ffor the lengthninge of our victuall, by settinge a straighter order for our company, I finde them much discontented, if we stay heere ; whereas if wee proceede, they all promise to live with as little portion as we shall appoint unto them. Our beinge uppon the coast of Spayne will yeeld us true intelligence of all their purposes.
The takinge of some of their army shall much daunte them, and put a greate feare amongst them.
My opinion is aliogather that wee shall fight with them much better, cheaper, uppon their owne coast than heere, ffor that I thinke this one of the unmeetest places to stay for them.
To conclude, I verilye beleeve that if we undertake noe present service, but detract time some few dayes, wee shall hardly bee able to performe any matter of Importaunce.
FRA: DRAKE.* About the same time Drake, in writing to Lord Burleigh, says, “I assure your good Lordship, and protest it before God, that I find my Lord Admiral so well affected for all honourable services in this action, as it doth assure all his followers of good success, and hope of victorie.” In another letter to the Lord Treasurer, he says, “ the Spaniards were approaching; and that, though their strength out
* MS., State Paper Office.
went report, yet the chearfulness and courage which the Lord Admiral expressed, gave all who had the honour to serve under him, assurance of victory."*
Passing by for the present what concerns the invincible Armada, and pursuing the career of Drake, in the year following (1589) we find him appointed by the Queen to the command of an expedition to Portugal, to place Don Antonio on the throne of that kingdom, usurped by Philip of Spain. It was a joint expedition of six ships of war, manned by 1500 seamen, of which Drake was admiral, and 70 or 80 sail of transports and others engaged to con vey 11,000 soldiers, over whom Sir John Norris was general. Norris and Drake wrote from Plymouth very indignant letters to Lord Burleigh, complaining grievously of want of money and victuals. Drake tells the Lord High Treasurer that 6 he never wrote to him with so discontented a minde as he does now.”
In the beginning of May they arrived in the Groyne, burnt and destroyed the shipping, and took possession of the lower town; but being obliged to spring a mine to get into the upper town, it failed, and a second being sprung, brought down the tower and slew from 250 to 300 of the assailants, officers and men. The Spaniards advanced to the skirts of the town and intrenched about 10,000 men, who were attacked by 7,000 English, who,