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The Story Of The Spanish Armada


On the afternoon of July 19th, A.D. 1588, a group of English captains
was collected at the bowling green on the Hoe at Plymouth, whose equals
have never before or since been brought together, even at that favourite
mustering-place of the heroes of the British Navy. There was Sir Francis
Drake, the first English circumnavigator of the globe, the terror of
every Spanish coast in the Old World and the New; there was Sir John
Hawkins, the rough veteran of many a daring voyage on the African and
American seas, and of many a desperate battle; there was Sir Martin
Frobisher, one of the earliest explorers of the Arctic seas in search of
that North-West Passage which is still the darling object of England's
boldest mariners; there was the High-admiral of England, Lord Howard of
Effingham, prodigal of all things in his country's cause, and who had
recently had the noble daring to refuse to dismantle part of the fleet,
though the queen had sent him orders to do so; resolved to risk his
sovereign's anger, and to keep the ships afloat at his own charge,
rather than that England should run the peril of losing their

A match at bowls was being played, in which Drake and other high
officers of the fleet were engaged, when a small armed vessel was seen
running before the wind into Plymouth Harbour, with all sails set. Her
commander landed in haste, and eagerly sought the place where the
English lord-admiral and his captains were standing. His name was
Fleming; he was the master of a Scotch privateer; and he told the
English officers that he had that morning seen the Spanish Armada off
the Cornish coast. At this exciting information the captains began to
hurry down to the water, and there was a shouting for the ship's boats:
but Drake coolly checked his comrades, and insisted that the match
should be played out. He said that there was plenty of time both to win
the game and beat the Spaniards. The best and bravest match that ever
was scored was resumed accordingly. Drake and his friends aimed their
last bowls with the same steady calculating coolness with which they
were about to point their guns. The winning cast was made; and then they
went on board and prepared for action, with their hearts as light and
their nerves as firm as they had been on the Hoe bowling green.

Meanwhile, the messengers and signals had been despatched fast and far
through England, to warn each town and village that the enemy had come
at last. In every seaport there was instant making ready by land and by
sea; in every shire and every city there was instant mustering of horse
and man. But England's best defence then, as ever, was her fleet; and
after warping laboriously out of Plymouth Harbour against the wind, the
lord-admiral stood westward under easy sail, keeping an anxious look-out
for the Armada, the approach of which was soon announced by Cornish
fishing-boats, and signals from the Cornish cliffs.

The England of our own days is so strong, and the Spain of our own days
is so feeble, that it is not possible, without some reflection and care,
to comprehend the full extent of the peril which England then ran from
the power and the ambition of Spain, or to appreciate the importance of
that crisis in the history of the world. We had then no Indian or
Colonial Empire save the feeble germs of our North American settlements,
which Raleigh and Gilbert had recently planted. Scotland was a separate
kingdom; and Ireland was then even a greater source of weakness, and a
worse nest of rebellion than she has been in after times. Queen
Elizabeth had found at her accession an encumbered revenue, a divided
people, and an unsuccessful foreign war, in which the last remnant of
our possessions in France had been lost; she had also a formidable
pretender to her crown, whose interests were favoured by all the Roman
Catholic powers; and even some of her subjects were warped by religious
bigotry to deny her title, and to look on her as an heretical usurper.

On the other hand, Philip II. was absolute master of an empire so
superior to the other states of the world in extent, in resources, and
especially in military and naval forces, as to make the project of
enlarging that empire into a universal monarchy seem a perfectly
feasible scheme; and Philip had both the ambition to form that project
and the resolution to devote all his energies, and all his means, to its
realisation. Since the downfall of the Roman empire no such
preponderating power had existed in the world.

Philip had also the advantage of finding himself at the head of a large
standing army in a perfect state of discipline and equipment, in an age
when, except some few insignificant corps, standing armies were unknown
in Christendom. The renown of the Spanish troops was justly high, and
the infantry in particular was considered the best in the world. His
fleet, also, was far more numerous, and better appointed, than that of
any other European power; and both his soldiers and his sailors had the
confidence in themselves and their commanders which a long career of
successful warfare alone can create.

One nation only had been his active, his persevering, and his successful
foe. England had encouraged his revolted subjects in Flanders against
him, and given them the aid in men and money without which they must
soon have been humbled in the dust. English ships had plundered his
colonies; had defied his supremacy in the New World as well as the Old;
they had inflicted ignominious defeats on his squadrons; they had
captured his cities, and burned his arsenals on the very coasts of
Spain. The English had made Philip himself the object of personal
insult. He was held up to ridicule in their stage-plays and masks, and
these scoffs at the man had (as is not unusual in such cases) excited
the anger of the absolute king even more vehemently than the injuries
inflicted on his power. Personal as well as political revenge urged him
to attack England. Were she once subdued, the Dutch must submit; France
could not cope with him, the empire would not oppose him; and universal
dominion seemed sure to be the result of the conquest of that malignant

There was yet another and a stronger feeling which armed King Philip
against England. He was one of the sincerest and sternest bigots of his
age. He looked on himself, and was looked on by others, as the appointed
champion to extirpate heresy and re-establish the Papal power throughout
Europe. A powerful reaction against Protestantism had taken place since
the commencement of the second half of the sixteenth century, and Philip
believed that he was destined to complete it. The Reform doctrines had
been thoroughly rooted out from Italy and Spain. Belgium, which had
previously been half Protestant, had been reconquered both in allegiance
and creed by Philip, and had become one of the most Catholic countries
in the world. Half Germany had been won back to the old faith. In Savoy,
in Switzerland, and many other countries, the progress of the
counter-Reformation had been rapid and decisive. The Catholic league
seemed victorious in France. The Papal court itself had shaken off the
supineness of recent centuries; and, at the head of the Jesuits and the
other new ecclesiastical orders, was displaying a vigour and a boldness
worthy of the days of Hildebrand or Innocent III.

Throughout continental Europe, the Protestants, discomfited and
dismayed, looked to England as their protector and refuge. England was
the acknowledged central point of Protestant power and policy; and to
conquer England was to stab Protestantism to the very heart. Sixtus V.,
the then reigning pope, earnestly exhorted Philip to this enterprise.
And when the tidings reached Italy and Spain that the Protestant Queen
of England had put to death her Catholic prisoner, Mary, Queen of Scots,
the fury of the Vatican and Escurial knew no bounds.

The Prince of Parma, who was appointed military chief of the expedition,
collected on the coast of Flanders a veteran force that was to play a
principal part in the conquest of England. Besides the troops who were
in his garrisons, or under his colours, five thousand infantry were sent
to him from northern and central Italy, four thousand from the kingdom
of Naples, six thousand from Castile, three thousand from Arragon, three
thousand from Austria and Germany, together with four squadrons of
heavy-armed horse; besides which he received forces from the
Franche-Comte and the Walloon country. By his command, the forest of
Waes was felled for the purpose of building flat-bottomed boats, which,
floating down the rivers and canals to Meinport and Dunkerque, were to
carry this large army of chosen troops to the mouth of the Thames, under
the escort of the great Spanish fleet. Gun-carriages, fascines, machines
used in sieges, together with every material requisite for building
bridges, forming camps, and raising fortresses, were to be placed on
board the flotillas of the Prince of Parma, who followed up the conquest
of the Netherlands whilst he was making preparations for the invasion of
this island. His intention was to leave to the Count de Mansfeldt
sufficient forces to follow up the war with the Dutch, which had now
become a secondary object, whilst he himself went at the head of fifty
thousand men of the Armada and the flotilla, to accomplish the principal
enterprise--that enterprise, which, in the highest degree, affected the
interests of the pontifical authority. In a bull, intended to be kept
secret until the day of landing, Sixtus V., renewing the anathema
fulminated against Elizabeth by Pius V. and Gregory XIII., affected to
depose her from our throne.

Elizabeth was denounced as a murderous heretic whose destruction was an
instant duty. A formal treaty was concluded (in June, 1587), by which
the pope bound himself to contribute a million of scudi to the expenses
of the war; the money to be paid as soon as the king had actual
possession of an English port. Philip, on his part, strained the
resources of his vast empire to the utmost. The French Catholic chiefs
eagerly co-operated with him. In the sea-ports of the Mediterranean,
and along almost the whole coast from Gibraltar to Jutland, the
preparations for the great armament were urged forward with all the
earnestness of religious zeal, as well as of angry ambition.

For some time the destination of the enormous armament of Philip was not
publicly announced. Only Philip himself, the Pope Sixtus, the Duke of
Guise, and Philip's favourite minister, Mendoza, at first knew its real
object. Rumours were sedulously spread that it was designed to proceed
to the Indies to realise vast projects of distant conquest. Sometimes
hints were dropped by Philip's ambassadors in foreign courts that his
master had resolved on a decisive effort to crush his rebels in the Low
Countries. But Elizabeth and her statesmen could not view the gathering
of such a storm without feeling the probability of its bursting on their
own shores. As early as the spring of 1587 Elizabeth sent Sir Francis
Drake to cruise off the Tagus. Drake sailed into the Bay of Cadiz and
the Lisbon roads, and burnt much shipping and military stores, causing
thereby an important delay in the progress of the Spanish preparations.
Drake called this "Singeing the King of Spain's beard." Elizabeth also
increased her succours of troops to the Netherlanders, to prevent the
Prince of Parma from overwhelming them, and from thence being at full
leisure to employ his army against her dominions.

Meanwhile in England, from the sovereign on the throne to the peasant in
the cottage, all hearts and hands made ready to meet the imminent deadly
peril. Circular letters from the queen were sent round to the
lord-lieutenants of the several counties requiring them "to call
together the best sort of gentlemen under their lieutenancy, and to
declare unto them these great preparations and arrogant threatenings,
now burst forth in action upon the seas, wherein every man's particular
state, in the highest degree, could be touched in respect of country,
liberty, wives, children, lands, lives, and (which was specially to be
regarded) the profession of the true and sincere religion of Christ; and
to lay before them the infinite and unspeakable miseries that would fall
out upon any such change, which miseries were evidently seen by the
fruits of that hard and cruel government holden in countries not far

The ships of the Royal Navy at this time amounted to no more than
thirty-six; but the most serviceable merchant vessels were collected
from all the ports of the country; and the citizens of London, Bristol,
and the other great seats of commerce, showed as liberal a zeal in
equipping and manning vessels as the nobility and gentry displayed in
mustering forces by land. The seafaring population of the coast, of
every rank and station, was animated by the same ready spirit; and the
whole number of seamen who came forward to man the English fleet was
17,472. The number of the ships that were collected was a hundred and
ninety-one; and the total amount of their tonnage 31,985. There was one
ship in the fleet (the Triumph) of eleven hundred tons, one of ten
hundred, one of nine hundred, two of eight hundred each, three of six
hundred, five of five hundred, five of four hundred, six of three
hundred, six of two hundred and fifty, twenty of two hundred, and the
residue of inferior burden. Application was made to the Dutch for
assistance; and, as Stowe expresses it, "The Hollanders came roundly in,
with threescore sail, brave ships of war, fierce and full of spleen, not
so much for England's aid, as in just occasion for their own defence;
these men foreseeing the greatness of the danger that might ensue, if
the Spaniards should chance to win the day and get the mastery over
them; in due regard whereof their manly courage was inferior to none."

We have more minute information of the numbers and equipment of the
hostile forces than we have of our own. In the first volume of Hakluyt's
"Voyages," dedicated to Lord Effingham, who commanded against the
Armada, there is given (from the contemporary foreign writer, Meteran) a
more complete and detailed catalogue than has perhaps ever appeared of a
similar armament.

"The number of mariners in the saide fleete were above eight thousand,
of slaves two thousand and eighty-eight, of soldiers twenty thousand
(besides noblemen and gentlemen voluntaries), of great cast pieces two
thousand six hundred. The aforesaide ships were of an huge and
incredible capacitie and receipt: for the whole fleete was large enough
to containe the burthen of sixty thousand tunnes.

"The galeons were sixty-four in number, being of an huge bignesse, and
very flately built, being of marveilous force also, and so high, that
they resembled great castles, most fit to defend themselves and to
withstand any assault; but in giving any other ships the encounter farr
inferiour unto the English and Dutch ships, which can with great
dexteritie weild and turne themselves at all assayes. The upperworke of
the said galeons was of thicknesse and strength sufficient to bear off
musket-shot. The lower worke and the timbers thereof were out of measure
strong, being framed of plankes and ribs foure or five foote in
thicknesse, insomuch that no bullets could pierce them, but such as were
discharged hard at hand; which afterward prooved true, for a great
number of bullets were found to sticke fast within the massie substance
of those thicke plankes. Great and well-pitched cables were twined about
the masts of their shippes, to strengthen them against the battery of

"The galliasses were of such bignesse, that they contained within them
chambers, chapels, turrets, pulpits, and other commodities of great
houses. The galliasses were rowed with great oares, there being in eche
one of them three hundred slaves for the same purpose, and were able to
do great service with the force of their ordinance. All these, together
with the residue aforenamed, were furnished and beautified with
trumpets, streamers, banners, warlike ensignes, and other such like

"Their pieces of brazen ordinance were sixteen hundred, and of yron ten

"The bullets thereto belonging were a hundred and twenty thousand.

"Item of gun-poulder, five thousand six hundred quintals. Of matche,
twelve hundred quintals. Of muskets and kaleivers seven thousand. Of
haleberts and partisans, ten thousand.

"Moreover they had great store of canons, double-canons, culverings and
field-pieces for land services.

"This navie (as Diego Pimentelli afterward confessed) was esteemed by
the king himselfe to containe thirty-two thousand persons, and to cost
him every day thirty thousand ducates."

While this huge Armada was making ready in the southern ports of the
Spanish dominions, the Prince of Parma, with almost incredible toil and
skill, collected a squadron of war-ships at Dunkirk, and his flotilla of
other ships and of flat-bottomed boats for the transport to England of
the picked troops, which were designed to be the main instruments in
subduing England. Thousands of workmen were employed, night and day, in
the construction of these vessels, in the ports of Flanders and Brabant.
The army which these vessels were designed to convey to England amounted
to thirty thousand strong, besides a body of four thousand cavalry,
stationed at Courtrai, composed chiefly of the ablest veterans of
Europe; invigorated by rest, and excited by the hopes of plunder and the
expectation of certain conquest.

Philip had been advised, in the first instance, to effect a landing and
secure a strong position in Ireland; his admiral, Santa Cruz, had
recommended him to make sure, in the first instance, of some large
harbour on the coast of Holland or Zealand, where the Armada, having
entered the Channel, might find shelter in case of storm, and whence it
could sail without difficulty for England; but Philip rejected both
these counsels, and directed that England itself should be made the
immediate object of attack; and on May 20th the Armada left the Tagus,
in the pomp and pride of supposed invincibility, and amidst the shouts
of thousands, who believed that England was already conquered. But
steering to the northward, and before it was clear of the coast of
Spain, the Armada was assailed by a violent storm, and driven back with
considerable damage to the ports of Biscay and Galicia. It had, however,
sustained its heaviest loss before it left the Tagus, in the death of
the veteran admiral Santa Cruz, who had been destined to guide it
against England.

Philip II. had replaced him by Alonzo Perez de Gusman, Duke of Medina
Sidonia, one of the most powerful of the Spanish grandees, but wholly
unqualified to command such an expedition. He had, however, as his
lieutenants, two seamen of proved skill and bravery, Juan de Martinez
Recalde of Biscay, and Miguel Orquendo of Guipuzcoa.

On July 12th, the Armada having completely refitted, sailed again for
the Channel, and reached it without obstruction or observation by the

The orders of King Philip to the Duke de Medina Sidonia were, that he
should, on entering the Channel, keep near the French coast, and, if
attacked by the English ships, avoid an action, and steer on to Calais
roads, where the Prince of Parma's squadron was to join him. The hope of
surprising and destroying the English fleet in Plymouth led the Spanish
admiral to deviate from these orders, and to stand across to the English
shore; but, on finding that Lord Howard was coming out to meet him, he
resumed the original plan, and determined to bend his way steadily
towards Calais and Dunkirk, and to keep merely on the defensive against
such squadrons of the English as might come up with him.

It was on Saturday, July 20th, that Lord Effingham came in sight of his
formidable adversaries. The Armada was drawn up in form of a crescent,
which from horn to horn measured some seven miles. There was a
south-west wind; and before it the vast vessels sailed slowly on. The
English let them pass by; and then, following in the rear, commenced an
attack on them. A running fight now took place, in which some of the
best ships of the Spaniards were captured; many more received heavy
damage; while the English vessels, which took care not to close with
their huge antagonists, but availed themselves of their superior
celerity in tacking and manoeuvring, suffered little comparative loss.
Each day added not only to the spirit, but to the number of Effingham's
force. Raleigh, Oxford, Cumberland, and Sheffield joined him; and "the
gentlemen of England hired ships from all parts at their own charge, and
with one accord came flocking thither as to a set field, where glory
was to be attained, and faithful service performed unto their prince and
their country."

The Spanish admiral also showed great judgment and firmness in following
the line of conduct that had been traced out for him; and on July 27th
he brought his fleet unbroken, though sorely distressed, to anchor in
Calais roads. But the King of Spain had calculated ill the number and
activity of the English and Dutch fleets; as the old historian expresses
it, "It seemeth that the Duke of Parma and the Spaniards grounded upon a
vain and presumptuous expectation, that all the ships of England and of
the Low Countreys would at the first sight of the Spanish and Dunkerk
Navie have betaken themselves to flight, yeelding them sea-room, and
endeavouring only to defend themselves, their havens, and sea coasts
from invasion. Wherefore their intent and purpose was, that the Duke of
Parma, in his small and flat-bottomed ships should, as it were, under
the shadow and wings of the Spanish fleet, convey over all his troupes,
armour, and warlike provisions, and with their forces so united should
invade England; or, while the English fleet were busied in fight against
the Spanish, should enter upon any part of the coast which he thought to
be most convenient. Which invasion (as the captives afterwards
confessed) the Duke of Parma thought first to have attempted by the
river of Thames; upon the banks whereof, having at the first arrivall
landed twenty or thirty thousand of his principall souldiers, he
supposed that he might easily have wonne the citie of London; both
because his small shippes should have followed and assisted his land
forces, and also for that the citie itselfe was but meanely fortified
and easie to ouercome, by reason of the citizens' delicacie and
discontinuance from the warres, who, with continuall and constant
labour, might be vanquished, if they yielded not at the first assault."

But the English and Dutch found ships and mariners enough to keep the
Armada itself in check, and at the same time to block up Parma's
flotilla. The greater part of Seymour's squadron left its cruising
ground off Dunkirk to join the English admiral off Calais; but the Dutch
manned about five-and-thirty sail of good ships, with a strong force of
soldiers on board, all well seasoned to the sea-service; and with these
they blockaded the Flemish ports that were in Parma's power. Still it
was resolved by the Spanish admiral and the prince to endeavour to
effect a junction, which the English seamen were equally resolute to
prevent: and bolder measures on our side now became necessary.

The Armada lay off Calais, with its largest ships ranged outside, "like
strong castles fearing no assault; the lesser placed in the middle
ward." The English admiral could not attack them in their position
without great disadvantage, but on the night of the 29th he sent eight
fire-ships among them, with almost equal effect to that of the
fire-ships which the Greeks so often employed against the Turkish fleets
in their late war of independence. The Spaniards cut their cables and
put to sea in confusion. One of the largest galeasses ran foul of
another vessel and was stranded. The rest of the fleet was scattered
about on the Flemish coast, and when the morning broke, it was with
difficulty and delay that they obeyed their admiral's signal to range
themselves round him near Gravelines. Now was the golden opportunity for
the English to assail them, and prevent them from ever letting loose
Parma's flotilla against England; and nobly was that opportunity used.
Drake and Fenner were the first English captains who attacked the
unwieldy leviathans: then came Fenton, Southwell, Burton, Cross, Raynor,
and then the lord-admiral, with Lord Thomas Howard and Lord Sheffield.
The Spaniards only thought of forming and keeping close together, and
were driven by the English past Dunkirk, and far away from the Prince of
Parma, who in watching their defeat from the coast, must, as Drake
expressed it, have chafed like a bear robbed of her whelps. This was
indeed the last and the decisive battle between the two fleets. It is,
perhaps, best described in the very words of the contemporary writer as
we may read them in Hakluyt.

"Upon July 29th, in the morning, the Spanish fleet after the forsayd
tumult, having arranged themselves againe into order, were, within sight
of Greveling, most bravely and furiously encountered by the English;
where they once again got the wind of the Spaniards; who suffered
themselves to be deprived of the commodity of the place in Caleis road,
and of the advantage of the wind neer unto Dunkerk, rather than they
would change their array or separate their forces now conjoyned and
united together, standing only upon their defence.

"And howbeit there were many excellent and warlike ships in the English
fleet, yet scarce were there twenty-two or twenty-three among them all,
which matched ninety of the Spanish ships in the bigness, or could
conveniently assault them. Wherefore the English ships using their
prerogative of nimble steerage, whereby they could turn and wield
themselves with wind which way they listed, came often times very near
upon the Spaniards, and charged them so sore, that now and then they
were but a pike's length asunder: and so continually giving them one
broadside after another, they discharged all their shot both great and
small upon them, spending one whole day from morning till night in that
violent kind of conflict, untill such time as powder and bullets failed
them. In regard of which want they thought it convenient not to pursue
the Spaniards any longer, because they had many great vantages of the
English, namely, for the extraordinary bigness of their ships, and also
for that they were so neerley conjoyned, and kept together in so good
array, that they could by no meanes be fought withall one to one. The
English thought, therefore, that they had right well acquitted
themselves, in chasing the Spaniards first from Caleis, and then from
Dunkerk, and by that meanes to have hindered them from joyning with the
Duke of Parma his forces, and getting the wind of them, to have driven
them from their own coasts.

"The Spaniards that day sustained great loss and damage, having many of
their shippes shot thorow and thorow, and they discharged likewise great
store of ordinance against the English; who, indeed, sustained some
hindrance, but not comparable to the Spaniard's loss: for they lost not
any one ship or person of account, for very diligent inquisition being
made, the English men all that time wherein the Spanish navy sayled upon
their seas, are not found to have wanted above one hundred of their
people: albeit Sir Francis Drake's ship was pierced with shot above
forty times, and his very cabben was twice shot thorow, and about the
conclusion of the fight, the bed of a certaine gentleman lying weary
thereupon, was taken quite from under him with the force of a bullet.
Likewise, as the Earle of Northumberland and Sir Charles Blunt were at
dinner upon a time, the bullet of a demy-culverin brake thorow the
middest of their cabben, touched their feet, and strooke downe two of
the standers by, with many such accidents befalling the English shippes,
which it were tedious to rehearse."

It reflects little credit on the English Government that the English
fleet was so deficiently supplied with ammunition, as to be unable to
complete the destruction of the invaders. But enough was done to ensure
it. Many of the largest Spanish ships were sunk or captured in the
action of this day. And at length the Spanish admiral, despairing of
success, fled northward with a southerly wind, in the hope of rounding
Scotland, and so returning to Spain without a farther encounter with the
English fleet. Lord Effingham left a squadron to continue the blockade
of the Prince of Parma's armament; but that wise general soon withdrew
his troops to more promising fields of action. Meanwhile the
lord-admiral himself, and Drake chased the vincible Armada, as it was
now termed, for some distance northward; and then, when it seemed to
bend away from the Scotch coast towards Norway, it was thought best, in
the words of Drake, "to leave them to those boisterous and uncouth
northern seas."

The sufferings and losses which the unhappy Spaniards sustained in their
flight round Scotland and Ireland are well known. Of their whole Armada
only fifty-three shattered vessels brought back their beaten and wasted
crews to the Spanish coast, which they had quitted in such pageantry
and pride.

Some passages from the writings of those who took part in the struggle
have been already quoted, to which may be added the following
description of the defeat of the Armada, written in answer to some
mendacious stories by which the Spaniards strove to hide their shame.

"They were not ashamed to publish, in sundry languages in print, great
victories in words, which they pretended to have obtained against this
realm, and spread the same in a most false sort over all parts of
France, Italy, and elsewhere; when, shortly afterwards, it was happily
manifested in very deed to all nations, how their navy, which they
termed invincible, consisting of one hundred and forty sail of ships,
not only of their own kingdom, but strengthened with the greatest
argosies, Portugal caracks, Florentines, and large hulks of other
countries, were by thirty of Her Majesty's own ships of war, and a few
of our own merchants, by the wise, valiant, and advantageous conduct of
the Lord Charles Howard, High-admiral of England, beaten and shuffled
together even from the Lizard in Cornwall, first to Portland, when they
shamefully left Don Pedro de Valdez with his mighty ship; from Portland
to Calais, where they lost Hugh de Moncado, with the galleys of which he
was captain; and from Calais driven with squibs from their anchors, were
chased out of the sight of England, round about Scotland and Ireland.
Where, for the sympathy of their religion, hoping to find succour and
assistance, a great part of them were crushed against the rocks, and
those others that landed, being very many in number, were,
notwithstanding, broken, slain, and taken; and so sent from village to
village, coupled in halters, to be shipped into England, where Her
Majesty, of her princely and invincible disposition, disdaining to put
them to death, and scorning either to retain or to entertain them, they
were all sent back again to their countries, to witness and recount the
worthy achievement of their invincible and dreadful navy. Of which the
number of soldiers, the fearful burthen of their ships, the commanders'
names of every squadron, with all others, their magazines of provisions
were put in print, as an army and navy irresistible and disdaining
prevention: with all which their great and terrible ostentation, they
did not in all their sailing round about England so much as sink or take
one ship, bark, pinnace, or cockboat of ours, or even burn so much as
one sheep-cote on this land."

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