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for that I have ended my life, as a true soldier ought to do that hath fought for his country, Queen, religion, and honour, whereby my soul most joyfully departeth out of this body, and shall always leave behind it an everlasting fame of a valiant and true soldier, that hath done his duty, as he was bound to do.” While the unequal action was going on, Howard, depending more on his courage than his strength, had a great inclination to venture into the midst of the enemy's fleet; but neither the master nor the rest thought it prudent to contend against such evident odds, and with certain defeat; while, at the same time, there was little or no probability of rescuing their friends. However, Howard and the rest, as well as Sir Thomas Vavasor (who assisted the Revenge for full two hours), fought bravely as long as they had the advantage of the wind, and did all that could be expected in such fearful odds, and by men of courage, till night parted them."*
The ship was surrendered, but, being so thoroughly shot through her hull, shortly after sunk in a storm with two hundred Spaniards on board, and with her perished some other vessels of the Spanish fleet; so that, as Camden says, “the Revenge made good its name, and forced the Spaniards to pay dear for this new victory.” Howard had, besides, the satisfaction of making some amends for the loss of the Revenge, her brave captain and crew, by taking several valuable Spanish ships ; in one of which were found about twenty thousand indulgences, designed for the American Indians and settlers, and, what was infinitely better, a rich treasure besides. These indulgences, it seems, were articles of value, being sold to the Indians at a yearly rate, by which the King of Spain's coffers are filled, and good grist carried to the Pope's mill."*
The death of Sir Richard Greenvil made a deep impression on his countrymen: there is but one historian that speaks in a slighting manner of his conduct and death, and that one is Sir William Monson, a cold, unfeeling, and heartless censurer of most other men's actions; he calls Sir Richard a “ stubborn man,” “so headstrong and rash that he offered resistance to those who adyised him to cut his cable and follow his Admiral;" that “his wilful rashness made the Spaniards triumph as much as if they had obtained a naval victory," &c.t
Other feelings prompted greater men to view the conduct of Greenvil in a different light.
“ The fight of the Revenge,” says Bacon, “ was memorable even beyond credit, and to the height of some heroical fable : for though it were a defeat, yet it exceeded a victory; being like the act of Sampson, that killed more men at his death than he had done in the time * Camden.
of all his life; this ship,” he adds, “ for fifteen hours sat like a stag among hounds at the bay.
It is true that valour alone, without discretion, is not unlikely to lead to discomfiture; but it has been owing to such stuff as Greenvil was made of, that the navy of Great Britain has acquired that high pre-eminence which, since his time, it has never ceased to hold; that, in short, produced a Nelson, who, in like circumstances with Greenvil, would have fought like Greenvil.
The next piece of naval service, performed by Lord Thomas Howard, was in the year 1596, in the attack and capture of Cadiz, and the destruction of the fleet and shipping there assembled. An account of this transaction has been given under the memoir of the Lord High Admiral. In the large fleet fitted out for this occasion, Lord Thomas served in command of the Mere-honeur, as Vice-Admiral, and had his full share in the attack on the castle and the capture of the ships and galleons; and at the conclusion of the business, he and the Dutch Admiral were the only two officers that volunteered to go with the Earl of Essex to the Azores, there to lay in wait for the return of the East India carracks “so much,” says one, speaking of the rest, “ had the fear of losing what they had gained at Cadiz got the ascendant over every other.” The next affair in which Lord Thomas Howard was engaged was in the following year, 1597, when the Earl of Essex was intrusted with the command of a fleet of eighteen or nineteen of Her Majesty's ships of war, accompanied by a large number of victuallers and other craft, the whole amounting, according to the narrative of Sir Arthur Gorges, the captain of Sir Walter Raleigh's ship, to not less than one hundred and twenty sail, having on board six thousand land forces. This immense armament was placed by the Queen under the command of the Earl of Essex, Lord Thomas Howard being appointed his Vice-Admiral. The Lord High Admiral, it is said, declined joining in this expedition on the score of ill-health, though some were pleased to suppose
* Bacon: 'A Speech on the War with Spain.'
that the specimen of the Earl's impetuosity before Cadiz had indisposed him to be again joined in an equal share of command with one, who had little or no knowledge of the naval service, and to whose care and protection the favourite might again be consigned. But so far is this from being the case, that, as has been seen, the Lord Admiral, at the conclusion of the business at Cadiz, wrote to his father-in-law, Lord Hunsdon, giving to Essex a high character for his conduct and discipline. In fact there was no feeling of the kind on the part of the Earl of Nottingham, whose letter to Essex himself repudiates
any such idea.
Little was accomplished by this grand expedition, chiefly owing, by Monson's account, to the mis
management and want of seamanship in Essex ; and also, he adds, by his " being diverted from my advice by divers gentlemen who, coming principally for land service, found themselves tired with the tediousness of the sea."* There was, however, another reason which no doubt contributed to the failure—the quarrel between Essex and Raleigh, which would probably have proceeded to the last extremity, had not the kind-hearted and goodnatured Lord Thomas Howard stepped forward, and by his persuasive and conciliating manner reconciled, for the time at least, the two favourites. But for this and other particulars regarding this inefficient voyage,
reference may be had to the memoir of the Lord General Essex.
In 1599 the Lord Thomas Howard was again appointed to the command of a fleet of her Majesty's ships, with orders to proceed to the Downs and remain there for further instructions. The fleet con, sisted of eighteen ships of war, under the following commanders :
The Admiral Lord Thomas Howard, Sir Walter Raleigh, Sir Fulk Greville, Sir Henry Palmer, Sir Thomas Vavasor, Sir William Harris, Sir William Monson, Sir Robert Cross, Sir Richard Levison (or Lewson), Captain Thomas Fenner, Sir Alexander Clifford, Sir John Gilbert, Sir Thomas Shirley, and five or six others.