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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 his name, 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
* MS., State Paper Office.
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.
Your honnors most humbely bound,
(Signed) - Martin FROBISER.* From the year 1585, when the war with Spain may fairly be said to have commenced, to the year 1590, “ 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.
“But,” says Monson, “after he had put out to sea, the King of Spain, becoming better advised than to adventure twenty of his ships to ten of ours, sent for Don Alonzo to return to port, and so frustrated the expectation of our fleet.”*
The English squadron then stood over to the Azores, and made an attempt to land at Fayal, which the Earl of Cumberland had got possession of, the preceding year, and had given it back to the Spanish authorities. In the mean time the fortifications had been strengthened, and the town put into a good state of defence; but as the object of Frobisher was to wait the arrival of the East and West India ships, he sent a trumpet to the Governor, in a friendly manner, to request a certain quantity of wine and provisions, to be paid for, which he not only refused, but the messenger was shot. The Admiral, or General as he is called, being highly incensed at this barbarous act, sent word that he would visit the town most severely for this conduct, and received in reply from the Governor, that he was the servant of the King of Spain, and, as in duty bound, would resist any attack to the utmost of his power.
The English fleet having now been absent about seven months here and on the coast of Spain, it was deemed most expedient to return to England, as they had not, during the whole of this time, taken
or even fallen in with a single Spanish ship worthy of being captured. The expedition, however, answered its purpose, by compelling the King of Spain to keep in port the whole of the outward-bound ships, and also to send out instructions to the Indies, to detain the sailing of the homeward-bound ships
till the following year. • Sir Walter Raleigh having, with others, been
consulted on the defence of the country in 1588, towards which he assisted in providing a division of merchant-ships, now turned his attention to sea affairs; and, being a great favourite at court, obtained the loan of two of her Majesty's ships—the Garland, commanded by himself, and the Foresight, by Captain Cross—in the former of which was Sir J. Burroughs, a commander of the land-forces. To the Queen's ships were added a number of armed merchant-ships, making in the whole 15 sail; of which Sir Walter was constituted General and Admiral. The object of this expedition was to intercept the Spanish fleet, on its return from America. The delay that occurred in preparing it for sea gave to Philip the opportunity of sending, as on a former occasion, to countermand the sailing of this fleet for that year (1592).
Sir Walter had scarcely put to sea when he en. countered a heavy storm, in which he lost several of his pinnaces and long boats, destined for crossing the Isthmus of Darien and the capture of the sea
port of Panama, which so much interfered with the object of his voyage that, as Camden says, “ the project was quashed.” The real reason, however, of the project being quashed was the recall of Raleigh, by order of the Queen Sir Martin Frobisher, in a pinnace of the Lord Admiral, called the Disdain, fell in with and brought him a letter of recall from the Queen, ordering him forth with to return, and transfer the command to Sir Martin and Sir John Burroughs. The occasion for his return is accounted for in another place.
The order to Sir Martin was to cruise upon the coast of Spain, and to intercept any ships attempting to get into or out of harbour; and to Burroughs and Cross the captain, with the division under them, to visit the Azores, to surprise any of the carracks that might arrive from the Indies : and this division, as Camden says, was not altogether without success; as the Spanish admiral, being most intent upon Frobisher, kept his ships in port, and neglected the safety of the carracks.
The Azores squadron, on standing for the Island of Flores, observed the Portuguese unlading a large carrack, which, on the approach of the English, was immediately set fire to. Cross, however, having spread his ships along the coast of the island, discovered a second large carrack. “The first ship that came up with her,” says Camden, " played furiously upon her with the great guns, and poured