« EelmineJätka »
from thence to march across the isthmus to Pañama, and to seize the treasure which was supposed to be there; but before they left Plymouth, her Majesty, having received advices from Spain that the India fleet had already arrived, but that one of them being dismasted, had taken refuge in Puerto Rico, orders were therefore sent to the admirals to hasten thither, in the first instance, to take possession of the treasure in the disabled ship, and then to proceed to Nombre de Dios.
Unfortunately, however, they lost a considerable. time in attempting to take possession of the Grand Canary island, in which they failed. Hawkins, it is said, was against the attempt on account of the delay; but Drake and Baskerville, particularly the latter, urged the measure, undertaking to carry it in four days. Hence they proceeded on their voyage, halted at Dominica, trafficking with the natives for tobacco, and building some pinnaces. While here, five Spanish ships, sent out to watch the English, and, at the same time, to convoy the treasure from Puerto Rico, fell in with and captured the Francis, a little pinnace that had straggled from the fleet, and having, by the application of torture, made the master and mariners confess that Puerto Rico was the destination of the English fleet, the Spaniards made all haste thither to give intelligence, and to bury all the treasure that might be at that place.
The English followed, and had no sooner come to
anchor at Puerto Rico than the enemy plied them with their great guns from the forts, and the ships that had already arrived there. But before the English ships could make ready to engage, Sir Nicholas Clifford, and Brute Brown, the friend of Drake, were so severely wounded, while sitting at supper, that they survived only two days. * Before they anchored, Sir John Hawkins, who had been ill nearly a month, also departed this life, some say from grief at the loss occasioned by the delay, others that the intelligence extorted by the Spaniards from the captured Francis had dwelt upon his mind; but the real cause appears to have been the effects of the climate on an aged and shattered constitution. His younger colleague and pupil soon afterwards followed him, and shared the same watery grave.
“Sir John Hawkins, as to his person, was esteemed graceful in his youth, and of a very grave and reverend aspect when advanced in years. He was well versed in mathematical learning for those times, and understood every branch of maritime affairs thoroughly, and to the botcom. He was a man of as much personal courage as that age produced, and had a presence of mind that set him above fear, and which enabled him frequently to deliver himself and others out of the reach even of the most imminent dangers.”† “ He was extremely affable,” says Camden, “ to his seamen, and remarkably beloved by * Camden.
+ Prince's Worthies.
them.” And with regard to this last expedition Sir Walter Raleigh says, that “ Notwithstanding the disappointment and distresses they met with in their last voyage, Sir Francis Drake, Sir John Hawkins, and Sir Thomas Baskerville were men, for their experience and valour, as eminent as England ever had.”
In the Bodleian Library, at the head of the stairs, are two curious portraits of the two early navigators, Frobisher and Hawkins.
SIR FRANCIS DRAKE.
1565 to 1595.
AFTER the circumstantial detail of the Life, Voyages, and Exploits of Sir Francis Drake, published so recently as 1843, and a second edition called for in the following year, it would be a work of supererogation to go over the same ground; yet, as he was one of the most distinguished officers of Queen Elizabeth's reign, his name could not properly be omitted in the list of the · Naval Worthies,' whose deeds are herein presented, in a general way, to the notice of the public.
It is intended, therefore, merely to glance over the various services which graced his career, with the addition however of two important documents, developing transactions in which he was essentially and prominently concerned ; one of which was calculated to cast a stigma of cruelty on a character which was, through life, peculiarly distinguished for acts of kindness and humanity,* but the imputation of which the document in question must remove.
* The two cases are mentioned, but slightly, in the Life of Drake,' for want of information; they are now given in detail from manuscript documents which have never before been published.
One of the twelve sons of a poor deacon,if ever he reached that step in the church — Francis Drake, whether from necessity or inclination, was apprenticed to the master of a small bark, usually employed in the coasting trade and in carrying merchandise to and from Zealand and France. During his continuance in this service of drudgery, his peaceable and diligent conduct so pleased the old master, that he bequeathed to him at his death his little bark, by will and testament.
After carrying on the same trade in his small vessel for some time, he sold her, and embarked the proceeds in an adventure to the West Indies, with a Captain Lovell, in 1565 and 1566, and suffered much by the Spaniards at Rio de Hacha. On his return he attracted the notice of Captain John Hawkins, a merchant and shipowner, and one of the most experienced mariners o
To enlarge his mind and to improve his seamanship, he engaged himself with Hawkins on a voyage to the West Indies. It turned out unfortunate, and Hawkins, on his return in January, 1568-9, in a letter to Secretary Cecil, deplores “the miseries and troubles of this melancholy voyage.” But it afforded an admirable lesson for the instruction of young Drake. It appears, however, from the narrative of his nephew Thomas, that Drake made a third voyage, with the Dragon and the Swan, in 1570, and with the Swan alone in 1571, for the