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one Thomas Allen, who received of Captain Frobisher two ingots of fine gold, and two ingots of fine silver, the first weighing 9 dwts. 8 grs., and the second 7 oz. 18 dwts., which were the proceeds of 4 cwt. of ore, brought on the second voyage, being the first proof made by Jonas Schutz in a furnace built on Tower Hill. The most exaggerated accounts were in circulation as to the enormous quantity of gold brought home. One of the old chroniclers says that “such great quantity of gold appeared, that some letted not to give out for certaintie, that Solomon had his gold from thence, wherewith he builded his temple.”*
What the produce of the three voyages amounted to does not appear; but it is stated that the subscriptions for the three expeditions amounted to 20,3451., of which Queen Elizabeth advanced 4,0001.
We have gone into this brief detail, not only because Frobisher was the first man who set about to discover a north-west passage to China, and the first who penetrated a strait leading in that direction, thereby holding out encouragement to those who subsequently followed in the same pursuit; but because, by his skill and gallant conduct, he assisted Queen Elizabeth most essentially in humbling the arrogant pretensions of Philip of Spain, and in the destruction of his vaunted Armada. He
* Holinshed's Chronicle.
stood high always in the estimation of Queen Elizabeth, and lost his life in her service.
Nothing further is heard of Frobisher until the year 1585, when a fleet was fitted out to annoy the King of Spain in the West Indies, who had manifested a disposition to go to war with Elizabeth, by laying an embargo upon all the English ships, goods, and seamen, found in his ports, which in fact was considered the first step to a declaration of war. This fleet consisted of twenty-one ships and pinnaces, in one of which, the Primrose, Martin Frobisher commanded as Vice-Admiral, Sir Francis Drake being Admiral in the Elizabeth Bonaventure. General Carlisle was appointed to command a certain number of troops sent on this conjoint expedition, of which the only account we have is said to have been drawn up by Captain Walter Briggs, under the direction of Lieutenant-General Carlisle; but he dying on the voyage, the narrative was given to a Lieutenant Cripps, who handed it over to Lieutenant Cates, who gave it for publication to Hakluyt. It were needless to say that Drake and Frobisher, and the rest of the naval officers, had their full share of labour and credit, though it does not appear that any separate account of them has been published. It will be enough here to say, the cities or towns of St. Jago, Carthagena, St. Domingo, and the small establishments of St. Augustin and a small adjacent town,
were conquered and restored on a certain ransom being paid to the captors.
Mr. Cates tells us very little, in his · Narrative,' of what was performed by the Lieutenant-General and his troops. The names even of Drake and Frobisher are scarcely mentioned. The booty brought home is stated at 60,0001. in money and 240 pieces of brass and iron cannon, 200 of them being of brass. The number of men that died is said to have been about 750, most of them of the fever called the calenture. Sir William Monson, in his criticism on this voyage, says we ought to have kept and defended these places; but the example of Virginia, without enemies there to contend with, held out but little encouragement to attempt colonizing amidst a large and fixed population in bitter hostility against us, national, political, and religious. Queen Elizabeth had sounder views on this subject :-“ It may be
ught simplicity in me," she said to her Parliament, “ that in all time of my reign I have not sought to advance my territories and enlarge my dominions; for opportunity hath served me to do it. I acknowledge womanhood and weakness in that respect; but though it hath not been hard to obtain, yet I doubted how to keep the things obtained: and I must say, my mind was never to invade my neighbours, or to usurp over any; I am contented to reign over my own, and to rule as a just princess.”* We next find Frobisher placed in the high and * D'Ewes, Harleian Miscellany.
most important situation of Vice-Admiral, in command of a squadron in the fleet appointed to engage that of Spain, which, in the year 1588, appeared in the English Channel, under the arrogant title of the Invincible Armada. That he should be selected to fill this eminent situation was owing entirely to his character, which was that of ranking among the few choice seamen that England could at this time boast of in her navy. The Lord High Admiral, in writing to the Queen, says—“ Sir Francis Drake, Mr. Hawkins, Mr. Frobisher, and Mr. Thomas Fenner, are those whom the world doth judge to be men of the greatest experience that this realme hath ;" * and the very first day that the Spanish fleet made its appearance off Plymouth, Drake, Hawkins, and Frobisher are said to have attacked and played so stoutly upon its rear division, commanded by General Juan de Recalde, that the General's own, and the other ships of that division, were so shattered as to make the best of their way to join the main body under the Duke of Medina Sidonia.
After two or three actions, the Lord High Admiral took the opportunity of dividing his fleet into four squadrons, to the command of one of which Frobisher was appointed; and shortly afterwards Captain John Hawkins and Captain Martin Frobisher, with three others, received the honour of knighthood at the hands of the Lord High Admiral. It also deserves to be noticed, that as Sir Francis
* MS. Letter of Lord High Admiral.
Drake in the Revenge, Sir Martin Frobisher in the Triumph, and Sir John Hawkins in the Victory, made the first attack on the Spaniards, so the same officers, with Lord Henry Seymour in the Rainbow, were in the last engagement with the flying fleet. Lord Henry says, in his letter to the Queen—“ Sir Francis Drake gave the first charge upon the Spanish Admiral, being accompanied with the Triumph, the Victory, and others.”
The Triumph remained to watch the narrow seas, and the vigilance of her commander is shown from his letters to Lord Charles Howard, two of which are here inserted more as curiosities for their style and orthography, than as of importance. SIR MARTIN FROBISER TO THE LORD ADMIRAL.
May 6th, 1589. MY HONARABELLE GOOD LORD.
In sendenge the monne (money) tou oste dynde (Ostend) she hathe taken a Lonnedragare (L'homme de guerre, qu.?) & a spanyarde in her, bound for donkerke, & the spanyarde caste ouare borde tou paketes of Letares, & as he saythe, beye ordare frome thos that deleurede them tou hem : as sonne as I can exsamene them I wolle send youre honare all thes exsamenasiones, for thate thes Letares of my Lord Tresarares requirede grete haste I coullde haue no time, beynge neyghte. Dounes thes 6 of maye, at 8 a cloke at nyghte, 1589.
Your honares moste hombleye,
MARTIN FROBISER. * To the reyghte honorabelle the Lord
Admeralle of Ingland : gev this. * This name, and names in general, are variously written even by the writers themselves,