A voyage to the Azores with two pinases, the one called the Serpent, and the other the Mary Sparke of Plimouth, both of them belonging to Sir Walter Raleigh, written by John Euesham Gentleman, wherein were taken the gouernour, of the Isle of Sainct Michael, and Pedro Sarmiento gouernour of the Straits of Magalanes, in the yeere 1586.
The gouernour of S. Michael taken prisoner. The 10. of June 1586. we departed from Plimouth with two Pinases, the one named the Serpent, of the burden of 35. Tunnes and the other the Mary Sparke of Plimouth of the burthen of 50. Tuns, both of them belonging to sir Walter Raleigh knight; and directing our course towards the coast of Spaine, and from thence towards the Isles of the Azores, we tooke a small barke laden with Sumacke and other commodities, wherein was the gouernour of S. Michaels Island, being a Portugal, having other Portugals and Spaniards with him. And from thence we sailed to the Island of Graciosa, to the Westward of the Island of Tercera, where we discried a saile, and bearing with her wee found her to be a Spaniard: But at the first not greatly respecting whom we tooke, so that we might haue enriched ourselves, which was the cause of this our trauaile, and for that we would not bee knowen of what nation we were, wee displayed a white silke ensigne in our maine toppe, which they seeing, made accompt that we had bene some of the king of Spaines Armadas, lying in wait for English men of war: but when we came within shot of her, we tooke downe our white flagge, and spread abroad the Crosse of S. George, which when they saw, it made them to flie as fast as they might, but all their haste was in vaine, for our shippes were swifter of saile then they, which they fearing, did presently cast their ordinance and small shot with many letters, and the draft of the Straights of Magelan into the Sea, Pedro Sarmiento the governour of the Straights of Magellan taken prisoner. and thereupon immediately we tooke her, wherein wee also tooke a gentleman of Spaine, named Pedro Sarmiento, gouernour of the Straights of Magelan, which said Pedro we brought into England with us, and presented him to our soueraigne Lady the Queene.
A ship laden with fish taken and released againe. After this, lying off and about the Islands, wee descried another saile, and bearing after her, we spent the maine maste of our Admirall, but yet in the night our Viceadmirall tooke her, being laden with fish from Cape Blanke, the which shippe wee let goe againe for want of men to bring her home. The next day we descried two other sailes, the one a shippe and the other a Carauel, to whom we gaue chase, which they seeing, with all speede made in vnder the Isle of Graciosa, to a certaine Fort there for their succour, where they came to an anker, and hauing the winde of vs, we could not hurt them with our ships, but we hauing a small boate which we called a light horseman, wherein my selfe was, being a Musqueter, and foure more with Caliuers, and foure that rowed, came neere vnto the shore against the winde, which when they saw vs come towards them they carried a great part of their marchandize on land, whither also the men of both vessels went and landed, One of the ships taken and sent away with 2. persons. and as soon as we came within Musquet shot, they began to shoote at vs with great ordinance and small shot, and we likewise at them, and in the ende we boorded one wherein was no man left, so we cut her cables, hoysed her sailes, and sent her away with two of our men, The Caravel is taken. and the other 7. of vs passed more neere vnto the shoare, and boorded the Carauel, which did ride within a stones cast from the shoare, and so neere the land that the people did cast stones at vs, but yet in despight of them all we tooke her, and one onely Negro therein: and cutting her cables in the hawse, we hoysed her sailes and being becalmed vnder the land we were constrained to rowe her out with our boate, the Fort still shooting at vs, and the people on land with Musquets and caliuers, to the number of 150. or thereabout: and we answered them with the small force wee had; in the time of which our shooting, the shot of my Musquet being a crossebarre-shot happened to strike the gunner of the fort to death, euen as he was giuing leuell to one of his great pieces, and thus we parted from them without any losse or hurt on our side. The prises sent home. And now, hauing taken these fiue sailes of shippes, we did as before, turne away the shippe with the fish, without hurting them, and from one of the other shippes we tooke her maine Maste to serue our Admirals turne, and so sent her away putting into her all the Spaniards and Portugals (sauing that gentleman Pedro Sarmiento, with three other of the principal men and two Negroes) leauing them all within sight of land, with bread and water sufficient for 10. dayes if neede were.
Thus setting our course for England, being off the Islands in the height of 41 degrees, or there about, one of our men being in the toppe discried a saile, then 10. saile, then 15. whereupon it was concluded to sende home those prizes we had, and so left in both our Pinasses not aboue 60. men. Two Carracks, 10. Gallions, 12. small ships. Thus wee returned againe to the Fleete we had discried, where wee found 24. saile of shippes, whereof two of them were Caracks, the one of 1200. and the other of a 1000. tunnes, and 10. Gallions, the rest were small shippes and Carauels all laden with Treasure, spices, and sugars with which 24. shippes we with two small Pinasses did fight, and kept company the space of 32. houres, continually fighting with them and they with vs, but the two Caracks kept still betwixt the Fleete and vs, that wee could not take any one of them, so wanting powder, wee were forced to giue them ouer against our willes, for that wee were all wholly bent to the gaining of some of them, but necessitie compelling vs, and that onely for want of powder, without losse of any of our men, (which was a thing to be wondered at considering the inequalitie of number) at length we gaue them ouer. The 2. pinasses returne for England. Thus we againe set our course for England, and so came to Plimouth within 6. houres after our prizes, which we sent away 40. houres before vs, where wee were receiued with triumphant ioy, not onely with great Ordinance then shot off, but with the willing hearts of all the people of the Towne, and of the Countrey thereabout; and we not sparing our Ordinance (with the powder wee had left) to requite and answere them againe. And from thence wee brought our prizes to Southampton, where sir Walter Ralegh being our owner, rewarded vs with our shares.
Our prizes were laden with sugars, Elephants teeth, waxe, hides, rice, brasill, and Cuser, as by the testimonie of Iohn Euesham himselfe, Captaine Whiddon, Thomas Rainford, Beniamin Wood, William Cooper Master, William Cornish Master, Thomas Drake Corporall, Iohn Ladd gunner, William Warefield gunner, Richard Moone, Iohn Drew, Richard Cooper of Harwich, William Beares of Ratcliffe, Iohn Row of Saltash, and many others, may appeare.
Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:55