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GEORGE RAYMOND AND JAMES LANCASTER.
and sheep, says Hakluyt, dog-cheap.
“ The sheep are very big, and very good meat; they have no wool on their backs, but haire, and have greate tailes like the sheep in Syria.” And of these they shortly obtained, according to Purchas, about a thousand sheep and fifty fat oxen. “ The people,” he says,
“ are all of a tawnie colour, of a reasonable stature, swift of foote, and much given to picke and steal ; their speeche is wholly uttered through the throate, and they clacke with their tongues in such sort that in seven weeks, which wee remained in this place, the sharpest wit among us could not learne one word of their language: and yet the people would soone understand any signe wee made to
This is a true description of the happy state of the Hottentot before he was deprived of his land and liberty by the Portuguese and the Dutch. From hence they sent home the Merchant Royal with about fifty of the crew disabled by sickness, retaining about two hundred for the two remaining vessels. They passed the Cape of Good Hope, and coming near Cape Corientes, a violent storm arose, in which the Penelope, the admiral's ship, was separated from her consort, and probably foundered, being never more heard of; when last seen, a great sea was breaking over her, which extinguished her light. The storm was accompanied with the most awful thunder and lightning, during which four
men are stated to have had their necks dislocated, which caused their death, above ninety were struck blind, and others made lame, or seized with horrible pains. Lancaster, however, with his mutilated crew, resolutely kept on their voyage. At Comoro Island thirty of his people and the master were murdered by the barbarians, while taking in fresh water; he proceeded, however, and wintered at Zanzibar.
From hence he continued his voyage to Nicobar, an island abounding with cinnamon and diamonds; and finding that thirty-three only of the crew remained alive, and that even with this reduced number his provisions grew short, Lancaster sailed hence homewards. Arriving at St. Helena they obtained some refreshment, and leaving this were driven to Trinidad, where, says Camden,“ they met with poor comfort and hungry entertainment.” At Mona, near Hispaniola, as Lancaster was refreshing himself with a part of his crew on shore, his ship was driven from her anchors by a-storm, with no more than seven distressed seamen in her (Hakluyt says only five men and a boy, and that the carpenter had cut the cable secretly), but got safe home, with a valuable cargo, leaving behind their captain and messmates in great misery and distress, who would in all probability have perished, but for the kindness of some Frenchmen, who gave them a passage in their ship that was homeward boundher name the Louisa, commanded by Mons. Felix ;
at this spot they had been starving nine and twenty days, on what little they could gather from the garden of an old Indian.
His Second Expedition.—Difficulties, disappointments, and failure of success in a promising undertaking are, to a brave and bold man, only so many spurs to a fresh attempt to try his fortune, in the hope of redeeming what he may have lost in wealth or reputation. Such a man Lancaster appears to have been. Towards the close of the very year in which he reached home from his former
he received an invitation from certain merchants, who had been despoiled of their property by the Spaniards, to take the command of three ships and a pinnace or galley-frigate, to make reprisals on the enemy. On arriving at the island of Mayo, he found one Venner ready to join him with two ships and a pinnace. These two commanders came to the resolution of making a direct attack on Fernambuco, on the northern coast of Brazil, which was understood to contain much valuable property, besides treasure laid up there from an East India carrack, which had been wrecked near that place.
They arrived before the harbour in the middle of the night, and stood off and on till day-light. In the mean time, Lancaster put eighty men into the galley-frigate, and went round in his own boat from ship to ship, ordering the several commanders to supply such men as could be spared with muskets, pikes, bills, bows and arrows, and other weapons ; and at break of day to take to their boats and follow him into the harbour. In the morning, however, the ships were found to have drifted below the harbour, and it was past mid-day before they could be got up again. By this time the town became alarmed, and six hundred men were placed on the platform to oppose their landing. The admiral, however, resolved on the attack, and gave strict orders to all the boats and the galley, to run them with such violence on shore as to stave them, so that every man should land, and trust solely to God and his weapons, which order was cheerfully obeyed. Lancaster, at the same time, leaping into the water to set his men a good example, they all followed with undaunted spirit. Seven cannon were fired on them from the fort, but the guns being badly levelled, the only damage sustained was the loss of an arm by one man. The admiral then called out, “ Upon them, my lads ! upon them ! now's your time, and all's our own!” With that he rushed on, the rest following, with such determined resolution, that the enemy had not presence of mind left to reload their guns, but abandoned them together with the fort to the mercy of the invaders.
Having turned the guns towards the town, and at the same time marching upon it, the inhabitants forsook the place, and suffered the invaders to enter without resistance. Here they found a vast store of very valuable commodities. The commanders of the ships were placed at different parts of the town to preserve order, and the admiral directed that it should be notified in every quarter, that no man should presume, under severe penalty and loss of all share of the booty, to enter any house or store without direction; and such was the result, that not the least disorder was committed, nor any spoil or pillage made. Three Dutch ships found lying there were engaged to carry home part of the spoil.
For three nights the Brazilians sent down the river fire-ships, followed by large rafts with prodigious fires upon them, but the English grappled and drew them to the shore. In the course of thirty days, the ships were laden with the plunder of the town, and on the night before their departure they were annoyed, for the eleventh time, with like attempts. In the morning a party pursuing a detached body of the enemy, with more courage than prudence, fell upon the main body, which had been some time in preparation, and were lying in ambush; and before relief could reach the invaders, two captains, and the admiral's lieutenant, two French captains, and several others, to the number of five and thirty, were slain.
The following night they departed, all laden with the spoil of Fernambuco, to the number of fifteen sail, consisting of three Dutch, five French, three of M. Venner's, and four of Captain Lancaster's, all of