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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 thought 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 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
* D'Ewes, Harleian Miscellany.
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 Recaldé, 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 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.”
* MS. Letter of Lord High Admiral.
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,
She is ladenede with ches, & nate elles (nothing else), & your honar shalle knoue as sone as I can undarestande it.*
SIR MARTIN FROBISHER TO THE LORD ADMIRAL.
May 7th, 1589. My HONNORABLE GOOD LORD,
I have sent your honnor the pase of this hoye herein closed, and with all a letare wher in your honnor may se all her Ladinge, that she was dericktly bound for Dunkerke, with this don John De toledo.
The marchant that is onnor of these goods ys called Hanse vandeveck, dwellinge in Hamserdam.
I have also examined this Spaniord: he confeses, as I aduertised your honnor, that he was taken with don Deage de pemnentelo, and that his name ys don John De toledo, and that this marchant, Hanse Vandeveck, did get him Relesed for a mariner of Roterdam that was Presoner in Donkerke. I have allso sent your honnor his pasport, wherein you may se
and the forme of his deliverie. Ther ys in her three pore men, their wifes & childern, bound for honscot. I have sent the hoy into Dover peare, & I have comanded the pore men and the wemen & childeren a land in Dover to goe where thay will. The hoy, the Skiper, and the Spaniard, I kep in safe custodie tell I know your honnors plesur hearin.
When the Skipper did se he wase to be taken, he willed them all to cast overbord ther leters, but thay swere all thay wher but one pore kinsmans to an other of comendacons & of ther parince.
I pray your honnors deriction for these causes, and what I shall doe for the mendinge of my mast, and shifting of my balis, which must be donne before I take in any vitels. I have but vij dayes vitels left, and it plese your honnor the vitels myght goe to Harwige that comes doune, and the ship may met the vitels ther and dispach all thinges in thre or fower dayes. Thus comiting your honnor to the almitie. Downes this viith of may, 1589.
* MS., State Paper Office.
Your honnors most humbely bound, (Signed)
From the year 1585, when the war with Spain may fairly be said to have commenced, to the
year " there was the greatest possibility imaginable,” says Sir William Monson, “ of enriching our nation by actions at sea. The King of Spain was now grown so weak in shipping by the overthrow he had in 1588, that he could no longer secure the trade of his subjects.” | The Earl of Cumberland suffered not that year to expire, before he had fitted out an expedition; and Drake and Norris gave to Philip a severe blow, in their attack on the Groyne the following year. This was followed up, in the year 1590, by an expedition for the coast of Spain and the islands, the command of which was conferred on Sir Martin Frobisher, as Admiral, and Sir John Hawkins, as Vice-Admiral ; but it was thought expedient to divide the ten ships, given by the Queen, into two squadrons, five to each of the Admirals, “gentlemen of tried experience.”
The fitting out of such a fleet could not be concealed, and when it was reported to King Philip, he ordered twenty sail of ships to be fitted out, and appointed Don Alonzo de Bassano to command them. ·
* MS., State Paper Office. † Monson's Tracts.