Page images
PDF
EPUB

a pretension was set up by the belligerents for a desire of peace, and commissioners were sent to Boulogne from Spain and England; but a discussion having arisen, on the point of precedence claimed by Spain, and the English ambassador refusing to concede what his sovereign had always claimed, no negociation took place. The Queen, suspecting this event, had placed three of her ships under the command of Sir Richard Lewson, to keep the Dunkirkers in order; but having reason to suppose that the Spaniards would avail themselves of the lull, he received orders, to hasten to the islands to intercept the Mexican fleet. The Spaniards had anticipated this, and sent out eighteen tall ships to the islands, under the command of Don Diego de Borachero, which, being ascertained by Lewson, he returned to England.

But while we were assisting the Low Countries in 1601, the Spaniards were doing the same for the rebels in Ireland : and Don Diego, with forty-eight sail of ships and four thousand soldiers, was on the route to invade Ireland. But on his way thither, the squadron that was under Vice-Admiral Siriago parted company, and returned to the Groyne. Sir Richard Lewson pursued and valiantly attacked him in the harbour, approached close to the fortifications, engaged the enemy for the whole day, his ship much shattered, and yet lost but eight men slain. He destroyed the whole of the shipping, and made Siriago abandon his galleys and fly to the shore, making his way through France into Spain.*

* Monson's Tracts.

In the same year, 1601, two thousand veteran Spanish troops, under Don John d'Aquila, an experienced general, were thrown into the little town of Kinsale ; and in the course of the year a reinforcement of two thousand more, under Alonzo d'Ocampo; these, with the Irish rebels under Tyrone and O'Donnell, making some seven thousand strong. The English, not six thousand, led on by the Deputy Montjoy, wasted and tired with a long winter's siege, were opposed to an army of greater numbers, fresh, and in vigour, in a town strong in fortifications and strong in men: “and what,” says Bacon, “was the event? This in few words: that after the Irish and Spanish forces had come on, and showed themselves in some bravery, they were content to give the English the honour, as to charge them first; and when it came to the charge, there appeared no other difference between the valour of the Irish rebels and the Spaniards, but that the one ran away before they were charged, and the other straight after.”+ The English had few slain or wounded; the enemy about two thousand: nine ensigns (six of them Spanish) taken, and the General d'Ocampo made prisoner.

In the year 1602, a squadron of nine of her Ma* Monson's Tracts. of Bacon on a War with Spain.

jesty's ships was sent to the coast of Spain, under Sir Richard Lewson as admiral, with his flag in the Repulse; and Sir William Monson, as vice-admiral, in the Garland. Weak and feeble as the Queen had become, now at the age of sixty-eight, her mind was steadily bent on harassing her old and inveterate enemy. With Ireland in a state of rebellion, and an enemy's fleet at sea, there was no time for hesitating. It was arranged that, on being reinforced by twelve sail of Dutch ships, for which Monson was to wait with four ships, they were to join Lewson, who was despatched with five. The latter sailed and fell in with the plate-ships on their way home, but was too weak to engage them with any chance of success. Sir William Monson was now ordered out to join Sir Richard Lewson, without longer waiting for the Hollanders; and, as was settled before sailing, they were to meet off the Rock of Lisbon. They met accordingly, took two easterlings, and from them received information, that a large carrack and eleven galleys were at anchor in the road of Secimbria. The two admirals, with nine ships and the two east country ships they had taken, entered the road, where the carrack and the galleys were so arranged and protected by the batteries of the town and the fortifications on the heights, as to be fully prepared to receive them. It was decided that, on the following morning, the two admirals should anchor as near to the carrack as they could, the rest

of the fleet to ply up and down, and not to anchor. “The Admiral was the first to give the charge, showing great valour and gaining great honour; the last of all was the Vice-Admiral, getting close to the shore, where he came to an anchor, continually fighting with the town, the fort, the galleys and carrack, all together; for he brought them betwixt him, that he might play both his broadsides upon them. The galleys still kept their prows towards him; the slaves offered to forsake them and swim to us; and every thing was in confusion amongst them; and thus they fought till five of the clock in the afternoon.” Sir William further says of himself: "The Vice-Admiral was anchored in such a place that the galleys rowed from one side to another, seeking to shun him; which Sir R. Lewson observing, came on board him, and openly, in the view and hearing of his whole company, embraced him, and told him, He had won his heart for ever.”*

All seemed to remain quiet during the night; and on the following day, by coming to a parley, and obtaining from the enemy certain conditions, the chief of which was “ to surrender without practice or treason the carrack with her goods, and that the castle should forbear shooting while the English remained in the road.” The carrack, according to Monson, was valued at two hundred thousand pounds.

* Monson.

The Portuguese galleys, under Santa Cruz, moved off in the middle of the fight; those of Spain, under Frederic Spinola, continued the fight, but two of them were sunk in the battle. But we have Monson's account in his own words. He says_“I must not omit to describe the behaviour of the galleys in the fight, that every man may have that honour that is due to him. Those of Portugal, being of the squadron of the Marquis of Santa Cruz, betook themselves, with their General, to flight in the middle of the fight; but Frederic Spinola, who was to convey his galleys out of Spain into the Low Countries, followed not the example of the Marquis, but made good the road; which the other seeing, with shame returned, but to both their costs ; for before they separated they found the climate so hot, that they were forced to fly, their galleys being so miserably beaten, and their slaves so pitifully slain, that there wanted nothing but boats to possess them all, as well as the two we took and sunk; which is a thing has been seldom seen or heard of, for ships to take and destroy galleys.”*

The carrack was taken possession of and carried to England; and Spinola was making the best of his way to Flanders, when Sir Robert Mansel, cruising off the South Foreland, attacked and sunk the whole of his remaining galleys, except the one in which the chief himself was, that made her escape to Dunkirk. Camden says that Spinola, with six galleys

* Monson.

« EelmineJätka »