A briefe and true report of the Honorable voyage vnto Cadiz, 1596. of the ouerthrow of the kings Fleet, and of the winning, sacking, and burning of the Citie, with all other accidents of moment, thereunto appertaining.

Richard Hakluyt

First published in 1598.

Extracted from Principal Navigations, Voyages, Traffiques and Discoveries of the English Nation, collected by Richard Hakluyt edited by Edmund Goldsmid. Volume VII. 1888

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The enlarged edition of 'Principal navigations' by Richard Hakluyt was published 1598-1600 in three volumes. Vol. 1 was published in 1598 and included on the titlepage “the famous victorie atchieved at the citie of Cadiz 1596”; pp. 607-619 described the victory emphasising the part played by the Earl of Essex. Essex fell from favour in 1599 and Queen Elizabeth had pp. 607-619 suppressed and the reference on the titlepage removed.

The Hakluyt handbook, ed. D. B. Quinn, Hakluyt Society, 1974, 2nd series, vols 144-5, p.495.

A briefe and true report of the Honorable voyage vnto Cadiz, 1596. of the ouerthrow of the kings Fleet, and of the winning, sacking, and burning of the Citie, with all other accidents of moment, thereunto appertaining.

After that the two most Noble and Renowmed Lords Generals: The L. Robert Earle of Essex, and the L. Charles Howard L. High Admirall of England, were come vnto Plymmouth (which was about the beginning of May last, 1596.) being there accompanied with diuers other Noble Peeres, as the Earle of Sussex, the L. Thomas Howard, the L. Harbert, the L. Warden Sir Walter Raleigh: the L. Marshall Sir Francis Vere: the L. Burk, Don Christopher young Prince of Portingall, young Count Lodouick of Nassaw, and the Admirall of the Hollanders, Sir Iohn Vanderfoord: besides many other most worthy Knights and Gentlemen of great woorth attending vpon this most honorable Action: It pleased them, there to make their abode for the time of that moneth, aswell for the new furnishing and reuictualing of her Maiesties Royall Nauie: as also for the expecting of some other ships, which were to come from diuers places of the Realme, and were as yet wanting: making that place as it should seeme the Rendezuous for all the whole Fleete, there to complete the full number of al such companies both for sea and land: as was in their noble and deepe wisedomes thought meete and agreed vpon.

All the time of this their abode there, there was a most zealous and diligent care had for the holy seruice of God dayly and reuerently to be frequented: and also for other good and ciuill orders of militarie discipline to be obserued, to the exceeding great comfort and reioycing of all the hearts of the godly and well disposed.

And for that it might the better appeare, that there was small hope of pardon to be expected of the offenders, if they did at any time neglect their duties, about due obseruation of matters of importance: Their orders, lawes, and decrees being once published: about the 8. or 9. of the same moneth, there were two offenders executed a little without the towne, in a very fayre pleasant greene, called the Ho: the one for beginning of a muteny in his company, the other for running away from his Colours.

And about the same time in the Dutch Regiment, an other for murthering of one of his companions, about a quarrell betweene themselues, rising as it was supposed, vpon their drinke, was by order of Martiall law, presently tyed to the partie so murthered, and foorthwith both of them so cast into the sea.

Moreouer, about the 28. of the same moneth, a certaine Lieutenant (whose name I will forbeare) was by sound of Drumme publikely in all the streetes disgraced, or rather after a sort disgraded, and cashierd for bearing any farther Office at that time, for the taking of money by way of corruption, of certaine prest souldiers in the Countrey, and for placing of others in their roomes, more vnfit for seruice, and of lesse sufficiency and abilitie. This seuere executing of iustice at the very first did breed such a deepe terror in the hearts of the whole armie, that it seemed to cut off all occasion of the like disorder for euer afterwards to be attempted.

And here before their departure from Plymmouth, it pleased their Lordships to publish in print, and make knowen to all the world, especially to such as whom it concerned, and that both in the Latine, French, Dutch, English and Spanish tongue, what were the true, iust and vrgent causes, that at this time prouoked her Maiestie, to vndertake the preparing and setting forth of this so great a Nauie, annexing thereunto a full declaration, what was good will and pleasure should be done and performed of all them that ment not to incurre their owne priuate present daungers, or else were willing to auoyde her Maiesties future indignation and displeasure.

Likewise now, at the same instant, their owne most prouident and godly decrees, which they had deuised for the honest cariage of euery particular person in their degrees and vocation, were made knowen to all men, and published in sundry writings, with diuers great punishments, set downe and appointed for the wilfull offenders and brekers of the same.

Thus then, all things being in very good order and well appointed, the most holy name of our Omnipotent God being most religiously and deuoutly called vpon, and his blessed and sacred Communion being diuers times most reuerently and publikely celebrated: These two most noble personages, with all their honorable Associats, and most famous worthy Knights, Gentlemen, Captaines, Leaders, and very willing and expert Souldiers, and Mariners, being furnished with 150. good sayle of shippe or thereabout: In the name of the most High and euerliuing God, and with all true and faithful obedience, to her sacred Maiesty, to the infinite good and tranquillitie of our Countrey, and to the perpetuall glory, and triumphant renowne of the eternall memory of their honorable names to all posterity, the first day of Iune embarked themselues, weighed Ancre, and hoysed vp sayle, and put to sea onward their iourney from the Sownds of Plymmouth.

The winde, at the first setting foorth, seemed very fauourable: but yet in the euening growing very scant, and all that night falling more and more against vs, and we hailing sayled no further then to a certaine place called Dodman Head: we were constrained the next day, to make our returne to the road of Plymmonth againe, and there in the Sownds to lie at ancre for that night.

About this time, and in this very place, by good fortune there came to my handes a prayer in English, touching this present Action, and made by her Maiestie, as it was voyced: The prayer seemed to me to be most excellent, aswell for the matter as also for the manner, and therefore for certaine diuers good motiues which then presently came to my minde, and whereof hereafter in his more conuenient time and place, I will make farther mention, I presumed at that very instant to translate it into Latine.

The Prayer is thus.

Most Omnipotent maker and guide of all our worlds masse, that onely searchest and fadomest the bottome of all our hearts conceits, and in them seest the true originals of all our actions intended: thou that by thy foresight doest truely discerne how no malice of Reuenge, nor quittance of iniury, nor desire of bloodshed, nor greedinesse of lucre hath bred the resolution of our now set out Army, but a heedfull care, and wary watch, that no neglect of foes, nor ouer-suretie of harme might breed either daunger to vs, or glory to them: these being the grounds wherewith thou doest enspire the mind, we humbly beseech thee with bended knees, prosper the worke, and with best forewindes guide the iourney, speed the victory, and make the returne the aduancement of thy glory, the tryumph of their fame, and surety to the Realme, with the least losse of the English blood. To these deuout petitions Lord giue thou thy blessed grant.

My homely translation, is thus.

Svmmè præpotens Deus, immensæ huius totius nostri mundi molis fabricator et Rector, qui solus perscrutaris intimos cordis nostri sensus, et ad fundum vsque nostrarum cogitationem explorando penetras, ac in eis, quid verè, et ex ammo cogitemus, et quæ sint actionum nostrarum rationes, ac fundamenta, cognoscis: Tu, qui ea, quæ in te est, ab omni æternitate præscientia, vides, quòd nec aliqua viciscendi malitiosa cupiditas, nec iniuriarum referendarum desiderium, nec sanguinis effundendi sitis, nec alicuius lucri, quæstusue auiditas ad istam classem præparandam, et emittendam nos commouerit: sed potiùs, quòd prouida quædam cura, solérsque vigilantia huc nos impulerit: ne vel inimicorum nostrorum neglectus, vel status nostri firmitaris nimium secura cogitatio, aut illis gloriam et honorem, aut nobis damnum et periculum pariat: Cum, inquam, hæc sint nostri, quicquid attentatur, negotii fundamenta: cumque tu hunc nobis animum, mentémque inieceris, vt istud aggrederemur: curuatis genibus a te humillimè petimus, vt velis hoc nostrum incoeptum secundissimè fortunare, totum iter prosperrimis flatibus dirigere, celerem et expeditiam victoriam nobis concedere, reditúmque talem nostris militibus elargiri, qualis et nomini tuo incrementum gloriæ, et illis famæ, laudisque triumphum, et Regno nostro firmam tranquillitatem possit apportare: idque cum minimo Anglorum sanguinis dispendio. His nostris religiosis petitionibus concede, Domine, sacrosanctum et annuentem voluntatem tuam.

After that we had anchored at Plymmouth that night, as I haue said, the third of Iune very early in the morning, hauing a reasonable fresh gale of winde, we set sayle, and kept our course againe, and the ninth of the same moneth comming something neere to the North cape, in a maner in the same altitude, or not much differing, which was about xliii. degrees, and something more, yet bearing so, as it was impossible to bee descried from the land: There it pleased the Lords to call a select Councell, which was alwayes done by hanging out of a flagge of the armes of England, and shooting off of a great warning peece. On this select or priuie Councell were no moe than these: The two Lords Generall, the Lord Thomas Howard, the Lorde Warden Sir Walter Raleigh, the Lord Martiall Sir Francis Vere, Sir George Cary master of the Ordinance, Sir Coniers Clifford, and Sir Anthony Ashley, Clarke of the sayde Councell. And when it pleased the Lords Generall to call a common Counsell (as often times they did vpon weightie matters best knowen to their honours) then they would cause an other kinde of flagge to be hanged put, which was the Redcrosse of S. George, and was verie easie to be discerned from the other that appertained onely to the select Counsell, and so often as this flagge of Saint George was hanged out, then came all the Masters and Captaines of all the ships, whose opinions were to be demaunded, in such matters as appertayned vnto this sayd select Counsell: It was presently concluded, that our course in sayling should foorthwith be altered, and that we should beare more into the West, for some purposes to them best knowen.

At that very instant many letters of instructions were addressed and sent to euery particular Master and Captaine of the Ships: What the contentes of those letters of instructions were it was not as yet knowne vnto any, neither was it held meet to be enquired or knowen of any of vs. But vnder the titles and superscriptions of euery mans particuler letter these wordes were endorsed. Open not these letters on pain of your liues, vnles we chance to be scattered by tempest, and in that case open them, and execute the contents thereof: but if by mishap you fall into your enemies hand, then in any case cast them into the sea, sealed as they are. It should seeme that these letters did conteine in them the principall place and meaning of this entended action, which was hitherto by their deepe foresights kept so secret, as no man to my knowledge either did, or coulde so much as suspect it, more then themselues, who had the onely managing thereof. A conceite in my iudgement of greatest moment in the world, to effect any matter of importance. I meane, to entertaine those two vertues, Fidem, et Taciturnitatem: so much commended by the old writers. And if there was euer any great designement, in this our age, and memorie, discreetly, faithfully, and closely caried, I assure my selfe it was this, and though it were but in respect to that poynt onely: yet for such faithfull secrecie, it deserueth immortall praise.

All this while, our ships, God be thanked, kept in a most excellent good order, being diuided into fiue squadrons: that is to say, The Earle of Essex, the Lord Admirall, the Lord Thomas Howard, the Lord Warden Sir Walter Raleigh, and the Admirall of the Hollanders. All which squadrons, albeit they did euery day separate themselues of purpose, by the distance of certaine leagues, as well to looke out for such shippes as were happily vnder sayle, as also for the better procuring of sea-roome: yet alwayes commonly eyther that day, or the next day, towarde euening, they came all together, with friendly salutations and gratulations one to an other: which they terme by the name of Hayling: a ceremonie done solemnly, and in very good order, with sound of Trumpets and noyse of cheerefull voyces: and in such sort performed as was no small encouragement one to the other, beside a true report of all such accidents, as had happened in their squadrons.

Hitherto, as I sayde, our iourney was most prosperous, and all our shippes in very good plight, more then that the Mary Rose, by some mischance, either sprang or spent her fore-yarde, and two dayes after Sir Robert Crosse had in a maner the like mischance.

Nowe being thus betweene the North cape, and cape S. Vincent, and yet keeping, such a course a loofe, that by no meanes, those from the shoare might be able to descrie vs: The tenth of Iune, a French Barke, and a Fleming comming from the coast of Barbarie were brought in by some of our companie: but they were both of them very honourably and well vsed by the Lords Generall: and so after a fewe dayes tarrying, were peaceably sent away, after that they had conferred with them about such matters, as was thought good in their honorable wisedomes.

The twelfth of the same moneth, Sir Richard Leuison Knight, assisted with Sir Christopher Blunt, fought with three Hamburgers, and in that fight slewe two of them, and hurt eleuen, and in the end brought them all three in: and this was the very first hansell and maydenhead (as it were) of any matter of importance, or exployt worthy obseruation that was done in the way outward of this honorable voyage, and was so well perfourmed of those most worthy Gentlemen, as euery man highly commended them for their great valure, and discretion, and no lesse reioyced at this their fortunate succcsse.

The next day after, Sir Richard Weston meeting with a Flemming, who refused to vale his foretoppe, with the like good courage and resolution, attempted to bring him in. The fight continued very hot betweene them, for a good space: in the end the Swan, wherein the sayd Sir Richard was, had her forebeake strooken off: and having spent before in fight the one side of her tire of Ordinance, while she prepared to cast about, and to bestow on him the other side, in the meane time the Fleming taking this opportunity, did get almost halfe a league from him: and so for that time made his escape. And yet the next day after, the sayd Flemming being in a maner got to the very mouth of the Riuer vp to Lisbone, was taken, and brought in by M. Dorrell, being Captaine of the Iohn and Francis of London. Thus by diuiding their squadrons, and spreading the whole sea ouer a mighty way, there could not so much as the least pinke passe but she was espied and brought in.

The 13. 14. and 15. dayes, certaine littte stragling Carauels were taken by certaine of the Fleete, and in one of them a young beggarly Fryer vtterly vnlearned, with a great packet of letters for Lisbon: the poore wretches were maruellously well vsed by the Lords Generall, and that Carauel, and the like still as they were taken were commaunded to giue their attendance, and their Honours did vnderstand what they might of these poore men, of the estate of Spaine for that present.

About this time and in this place it was, that first in all my life time I did see the flying fishes, who when they are hardly pinched and chased by the Bonitoes and other great fishes, then to auoyde the daunger, they presently mount vp, and forsake the water, and betake themselues to the benefite of their winges and make their flight, which commonly is not aboue fiue or sixe score, or there about, and then they are constrayned to fall downe into the water againe, and it is the Mariners opinion that they can fly no longer then their wings be wet. The fish it selfe is about the bignesse of a Mackrell or a great white Hearing, and much of that colour and making, with two large wings shaped of nature very cunningly, and with great delight to behold, in all the world much like to our Gentlewomens dutch Fans, that, are made either of paper, parchment, or silke, or other stuffe, which will with certaine pleights easily runne and fold themselues together. One of these flying fishes was presented to my L. Admirall by a fisher man, and newly taken in his L. returne from Cadiz, and then I [had] good leisure and opportunitie to view it.

The 18. day early in the morning wee tooke an Irish man, and he came directly from Cadiz, hauing beene there but the day before at twelue of the clocke at high noone. This man being examined, told truely that there was now great store of shipping at Cadiz, and with them xviii. or xix. gallies in a readinesse, and that among those ships there were diuers of the kings best: and namely, that the Philip of Spaine was amongst them, but what their intent was, hee could not tell. This man was commanded also to giue his attendance.

The 20. of Iune being Sunday, we came before Cadiz very early in the morning, and in all this time as yet, the whole Nauy had not lost either by sicknesse or by any other maner of wayes sixe men to my knowledge: as for the Dutch company, I am not able precisely to say what happened there, for that they were no part of our charge to be looked vnto, but were a regiment entire of themselues, and by themselues to be prouided for, either for their diet, or for the preservation of their healths by phisicke.

Thus then I say, being all in good plight and strong, the 20. of Iune wee came to Cadiz, and there very earely in the morning presented our selues before the Towne, ryding about a league or something lesse, from it. The sea at that instant went maruelous high, and the winde was exceeding large. Notwithstanding, a Councell being called, our Lords Generall foorthwith attempted with all expedition to land some certaine companies of their men at the West side of the Towne, by certaine long boats, light horsemen, pynnesses, and barges made for the purpose, but could not compasse it, and in the attempting thereof; they chanced to sinke one of their Barges, with some foure score good souldiers well appointed in her, and yet by good hap and great care the men were all saued excepting viii. And therefore they were constrayned to put off their landing till an other more convenient time.

That morning very timely, there, lighted a very faire doue vpon the maine yard of the L. Admirals ship, and there she sate very quietly for the space of 3. or 4. houres, being nothing dismayed all that while, euery man gazed and looked much vpon her, and spake their minds and opinions, yet all concluding by no meanes to disquiet her: I for my part, tooke it for a very good omen and boading, as in trueth (God be thanked) there fell out nothing in the end to the contrary. And as at our very first comming to Cadiz this chanced, so likewise on the very last day of our departing from the same towne, another Doue presented her selfe in the selfe same order into the same ship, and presently grew wonderfull tame and familiar to vs all, and did so still keepe vs company, euen till our arriuall here in England.

We no sooner presented our selues, but presently a goodly sort of tall Spanish ships came out of the mouth of the Bay of Cadiz, the Gallies accompanying them in such good order, and so placed as all of them might well succour each other, and therewithall kept themselues very close to their towne, the castle, and the forts, for their better guard and defence, abiding there still, and expecting our farther determination. All that day passed, being very rough and boysterous, and litle or nothing could be done, more then that about the euening there passed some friendly and kinde salutations sent one from the other in warlike maner, by discharging certain great peeces, but to my knowledge no hurt done at all, or else very litle.

A carefull and diligent watch was had all that night thoroughout the whole armie, and on monday morning being the 21. day, the winde and weather being become moderate and fauourable, betweene fiue and sixe of the clocke in the morning, our ships in the name of almightie God, and in defence of the honour of England, without any farther delay, with all speed, courage, and alacritie, did set vpon the Spanish ships, being then vnder sayle, and making out of the mouth of the Bay of Cadiz, vp toward Puente de Suaço on Grenada side, being in number lix. tall ships, with xix. or xx. Gallies attending vpon them, sorted in such good order, and reasonable distance as they might still annoy vs, and alwayes relieue themselues interchangeably: hauing likewise the Castle, Forts, and Towne, continually to assist them and theirs, and alwayes readie to play vpon vs and ours.

In most mens opinions it seemed that the enemy had a wonderful aduantage of vs, all circumstances being well weighed, but especially the straightnesse of the place, and the naturall forme and situation of the Bay it selfe, being rightly considered. For albeit the very Bay it selfe is very large and exceeding beautifull, so that from Cadiz to Port S. Mary, is some vi. or vii. English miles ouer or there abouts, yet be there many rockes, shelues, sands and shallowes in it, so that the very chanell and place for sea roome, is not aboue 2. or 3. miles, yea and in some places not so much, for the ships of any great burthen, to make way in, but that they must either be set on ground or else constrained to run fowle one on another. All this notwithstanding, with great and inuincible courage, the Lords generall presently set vpon them, and sorting out some such conuenient ships, as to their honorable wisedomes seemed fittest for that times seruice, they were driuen to take some other course then before had beene by them entended. Wherefore vpon a graue consultation had by a select Counsell, what great dangers might ensue vpon so mightie a disaduantage as appeared in all probability, if it were not by good and sound iudgement preuented, and therewithall in their singular wisedomes foreseeing that some great stratageme might be practised by the enemy, either by fire-worke, or some other subtill politike deuise, for the hazarding of her Maiesties ships of honor in so narrow a place, thus with al expedition they concluded that the Viceadmirall, the L. Thomas Howard, that most noble L. Howard (whose exceeding great magnanimity, courage, and wisedome, ioyned with such an honorable kind of sweet courtesie, bountie, and liberalitie, as is not able by me and my weakenes to be expressed, hath wonne him all the faithfull louing hearts of as many as euer haue had any maner of dealing with him) This L. Thomas, I say, in the Non Pareille for that time, and the Reare Admirall Sir Walter Raleigh (a man of maruellous worth and regard, for many his exceeding singular great vertues, right fortitude and great resolutenes in all matters of importance) in the Warspight associated with diuers most famous worthy knights, namely, Sir Francis Vere the L. Martiall in the Rainbow, Sir George Cary M. of the Ordinance, in the Mary rose, Sir Robert Southwell in the Lyon, gentlemen for all laudable good vertues, and for perfect courage and discretion in all military actions, of as great praise and good desert as any gentlemen of their degree whosoeuer, hauing with them some of the shippes of London and some of the Dutch squadron of reasonable burthen, should leade the dance, and giue the onset, and that the two most noble Lords generall with some others of their companies, should in their conuenient time and order, second the maine battell. The fight being begunne and growen very hot, the L. Generall the Earle of Essex, (whose infinite princely vertues with triumphant fame deserue to be immortalized) being on Port S. Mary side, vpon a sudden and vnlooked for of others, thrust himselfe among the formost into the maine battell. The other most honorable L. Generall (whose singular vertues in all respects are of such an excellencie and perfection as neither can my praise in any part increase them, nor any mans enuy any whit blemish or diminish them) vnderstanding, the most noble Earle to be in fight among them, and perceiuing by the M. of his ship, the Arke Royall, that lacke of water, it was not possible, that he might put any neerer, without farther delay, called presently for his Pynnesse, and in the same Pynnesse put himselfe, and his honorable son L. William Howard that now is, aboord the Honor de la mer, and there remained in the fight till the battell was ended. The fight was very terrible, and most hideous to the beholder by the continuall discharging of those roaring thundering great peeces, on all sides, and so continued doubtful till about one or two of the clocke in the afternoone: about which time the Philip, whom in very truth, they had all most fancie vnto, began to yeeld and giue ouer, her men that remained aliue shifting for themselues as they were able, and swimming, and running a shoare with all the hast that they could possibly, and therewithall, at the very same instant themselues fired their ship, and so left her, and presently thereupon a great Argosie, with an other mighty great ship, fired themselues in the like maner. Immediately hereupon, the residue of the ships ran themselues on ground, as farre from vs as they could, and therby purchased their owne safety, or rather breathing space for the time. Of them all two faire ships only were boorded and taken by our men with most part of their furniture in them, the one called S. Matthy, a ship by estimation of some xii. hundred tunne, and the other S. Andrew, being a shippe of not much lesser burthen. The Gallies, seeing this suddaine great victorious ouerthrow, made all the hast they could toward the Bridge called Puente de Suaço, and there shrowded themselues in such sort as our shippes could not by any meanes possible come nigh them for lacke of water.

The Spanish ships in all were lix. and as is sayd, all tall ships and very richly furnished and well appointed, whereof some of them were bound for the Indies, and other freighted and furnished for Lisbon, as themselues affirme; and had we not come that very time that we did, (which for my part, I do not attribute so much vnto meere chance, as to some secret deepe insight and foreknowledge of the two most worthy Lords generall, who no doubt spared for no cost or labour for true intelligence) we had certainely mist of them all.

Of what great wealth and riches these ships were, that I leaue to other mens iudgement and report, but sure I am that themselues offered two millions and a halfe of ducats for the redemption of the goods and riches that were in them: which offer of theirs, albeit it was accepted of the Lords Generall, and should haue beene receiued, yet we were defeated of it, as hereafter shall be more at large declared.

What maner of fight this was, and with what courage performed, and with what terror to the beholder continued, where so many thundering tearing peeces were for so long a time discharged, I leaue it to the Reader to thinke and imagine. Yet such was the great mercy and goodnes of our liuing God, that in all this cruell terrible fight, in the end, there were not either slaine or hurt by any maner of meanes (excepting one mischance that happened, wherof I will by and by make mention) many aboue the number of 100. of our men: notwithstanding diuers of our shippes were many times shot thorow and thorow: yea and some of them no lesse then two and twentie times, as I was enformed by credible report of the Captaines and Masters themselues. I knowe not of any other hurt done, sauing onely that Sir Robert Southwell, who alwayes shewed himselfe a most valiant resolute knight in all this action, making a litle too much haste with his Pinnesse to boord the Philip, had there his said Pinnesse burnt with the Philip at the same instant, and yet by good care and diligence his men were saued.

One other mischance (as I said) there happened, and it was thus: One of the Flemings flieboats, who had, in all the conflict before, caried himselfe very well and valiantly, about ten of the clocke while the fight continued sharpest, chanced by great negligence and misfortune, to be fired and blowen vp by his owne powder, who could not haue any fewer in him, then one hundred fighting men by all supposall, and so in the very twinckling of an eye, both shippe and men were all cast away, excepting vii. or viii. which by very good fortune, and great care and diligence of some of the other ships were saued.

Immediatly vpon this notable victory without any farther stay in all the world, the Lord generall the Earle of Essex put to shore and landed about 3000. shot, and pikemen: of the which number the one halfe was presently dispatched to the bridge Puente de Suaço, vnder the conduct of three most famous worth; knights. Sir Christopher Blunt, Sir Coniers Clifford, and Sir Thomas Gerard: with the other halfe, being about fifteene hundred, the most noble Earle of Essex himselfe, being accompanied with diuers other honorable Lords, namely the Earle of Sussex, the Lord Harbert, the Lord Burt, Count Lodouick of Nassaw, the Lord Martiall Sir Francis Vere, with many other worthy Knights, and men of great regard, who all in that dayes seruice did most valiantly behaue themselues, with all expedition possible marched on foote toward the towne of Cadiz, which was about three English miles march. That time of the day was very hot and faint and the way was all of dry deepe slyding sand in a maner, and beside that, very vneuen, and by that meanes so tiresome and painefull as might be. The enemie hauing reasonable companie both of horse and footemen, stoode in a readinesse some good distance without the towne to welcome vs, and to encounter the Lorde Generall. But the most famous Earle with his valiant Troupes, rather running in deede in good order, then marching, hastened on with such vnspeakeable courage and celeritie, as within one houres space and lesse, the horsemen were all discomfited and put to flight, their leader being strooken downe at the very first encounter, whereat the footemen being wonderfully dismayed and astonished at the vnexspected manner of the Englishmens kinde of such fierce and resolute fight retyred themselues with all the speede possible that they could, to recouer themselues into the Towne againe, which being done by them, with farre swifter legges then manly courage, our men were enforcd to skale the walles: which thing in very deede, although it was not without great danger and difficulty to be perfourmed: Yet such was the inuincible resolution, and the wonderfull dexterity of the English, that in one halfe houre or thereabout, the enemie was repulsed, and the towne wall possessed, by the noble Earle himselfe, being in all this action, either the uery first man or else in a maner ioyned with the first.

The towne walles being then possessed, and the English Ensigne being there displayed vpon them, with all speede possible they proceeded on to march through the towne, making still their waie with sworde and shot as well as they could, being still fought withall at euery turne.

Immediately vpon this most famous entrie, the noble Earle, (according to their resolutions, as I take it, put downe before) was seconded by the noble L. Admirall in person, who was accompanied, with the noble L. Thomas Howard, the most worthy gentleman his sonne, now L. Howard, Sir Robert Southwell, Sir Richard Leuison, and with diuers other gentlemen, his L. followers of good account: his colours being aduanced by that valiant resolute gentleman, (a man beautified with many excellent rare gifts, of good learning and vnderstanding) S. Edward Hobby Knight. And thus he likewise marching with al possible speede on foote, notwithstanding his L. many yeres, the Intolerable heate, for the time, and the ouertiring tedious deepe sands, with other many impediments: Yet in good time, ioyned himselfe with the Earle and his companies, and gaue them the strongest, and best assistance that he could.

Thus then the two Lords Generall with their companies being ioyned together, and proceeding so farre as the market place, there they were hotly encountered, where and at what time, that worthy famous knight Sir Iohn Winkfield, being sore wounded before on the thigh, at the very entry of the towne, and yet for all that no whit respecting himselfe being caried away, with the care he had to encourage and direct his company, was with the shot of a musket in the head, most vnfortunately slaine.

And thus before eight of the clocke that night were these two most noble Lords General, Masters of the market place, the forts, and the whole Towne and all, onely the Castle as yet holding out, and from time to time as they could, still annoying them, with seuen battering pieces. By this time night began to grow on, and a kind of peace or intermission was obtained by them of the Castle: to whome the Lords Generall had signified: that vnlesse before the next day in the morning they would absolutely render themselues, they should looke for no mercy, but should euery one be put to the sword: vpon which message they tooke deliberation that night: but in the morning before breake of day, they hanged out their flag of truce, and so without any further composition did yeeld themselues absolutely to their mercy, and deliuered vp the Castle.

And yet notwithstanding all this, in the night time while they had this respite to pause, and deliberate about the peacemaking, there were diuers great and suddaine alarms giuen: which did breed some great outrages and disorder in the towne. At euery which alarme, the two Lordes Generall shewed themselues maruelous ready and forward, insomuch that at the very first alarme, skant wel furnished with any more defence then their shirts, hose, and dublets, and those too altogether in a maner vntied, they were abroad in the streets themselues, to see the vttermost of it. But for that it is not as yet very well knowen (or at the least not well knowen vnto me) either wherfore, or by whom these alarmes were attempted: I am therefore to intreat, that a bare report, that such a thing was done, may suffice.

These things being done, and this surrender being made, present proclamation was published, that the fury now being past, all men should surcease from all maner of blood and cruell dealing, and that there should no kind of violence or hard vsage be offered to any, either man, woman or child, vpon paine of death: And so permitting the spoyle of so much of the towne as was by them thought meete, to the common souldiers for some certaine dayes, they were continually in counsell about other graue directions, best knowen to their honourable wisedomes.

This honourable and mercifull Edict I am sure was streightly and religiously obserued of the English: But how well it was kept by the Dutch, I will nether affirme, nor yet denie. For I perceiue betweene them and the Spaniards, there is in implicable hartburning, and therefore as soone as the Dutch squadron was espied in the fight, immediatly thereupon both they of Siuil and S. Lucar and also some, of some other places, did not onely arrest all such Dutch ships, as delt with them friendly by the way of traffick and Marchandise, and so confiscated their goods, but also imprisoned the Marchants and Owners of the same, and, as the report goeth, did intreat many of them with extreame cruelty thereupon.

In the meane while the very next day being the two and twenty day of Iune, all the Spanish shippes which were left on ground in the Bay of Cadiz, where the great ouerthrowe had beene but the day before, were by the Spaniards themselues there set on fire, and so from that time forward they neuer left burning of them, till euery one of them, goods and all, as farre as wee know were burnt and consumed. This their doing was much maruelled at of vs, and so much the more, for that, as I sayd before, there had bene made some offer for the redemption and sauing of the goods, and it was not to them vnknowen that this their offer was not misliked, but in all probabilitie should haue bene accepted. The common opinion was, that this was done either by the appointment of the Duke de Medina Sidonia, or els by expresse commandement from the higher powers.

Not long after the same time (three dayes as I remember) the gallies that were runne on ground, did quitte themselues also out of that place, and by the bridge of the Iland called Puente de Suaço, made their way round about the same Iland, and so by putting themselues to the maine sea, escaped to a towne called Rotta, not farre off, but something vp towards the Towne of Saint Lucars, and there purchased their safety by that meanes.

Thus was this notable victorie, as well by sea as by land, both begunne and in effect perfourmed, within the compasse, in a maner, of foureteene houres: A thing in trueth so strange and admirable, as in my iudgement will rather bee wondered at then beleeued of posteritie. And if euer any notable exploit in any age was comparable to Cæsars Veni, Vidi, Vici, certainely in my poore opinion it was this.

Here it is to be wished (and perchance of some too it is looked for) that euery mans particular worthy acte in this dayes seruice, with the parties names also, should be put downe, that thereby both they and their good deserts might be registered to all posteritie: and for my part I would it were so, and wish I were able to doe it. But for that I confesse it is a matter that passeth my power, yea, and for that I thinke it also a thing impossible to be precisely perfourmed by any other, I am to craue pardon for that I rather leaue it out altogether, then presume to doe it maymedly: and in this point I referre the Reader onely to the Mappe that is set foorth of this iourney, where it is in some parte conueniently touched and specified.

The Towne of it selfe was a very beautifull towne, and a large, as being the chiefe See of the Bishop there, and hauing a goodly Cathedrall Church in it, with a right goodly Abbey, a Nunnery, and an exceeding fine College of the Jesuites, and was by naturall situation, as also by very good fortification, very strong, and tenable enough in all mens opinions of the better judgement. Their building was all of a kind of hard stone, euen from the very foundation to the top, and euery house was in a manner a kinde of a fort or Castle, altogether flat-roofed in the toppe, after the Turkish manner, so that many men together, and that at ease, might walke thereon: hauing vpon the house top, great heapes of weighty stoanes piled vp in such good order, as they were ready to be throwen downe by euery woman most easily vpon such as passed by, and the streetes for the most part so exceeding narrow, (I thinke to auoide the intollerable great heat of the Sunne) as but two men or three at the most together, can in any reasonable sorte march thorough them, no streete being broader commonly then I suppose Watling streete in London to be.

The towne is altogether without glasse, excepting the Churches, yet with faire comely windowes, and with faire grates of iron to them, and haue very large folding leaues of wainscot or the like. It hath very fewe Chimnies in it, or almost none at all: it may be some one chimney in some one or other of the lower out roomes of lest account, seruing for some necessary vses, either to wash in, or the like, or els nowe and then perchance for the dressing of a dish of meate, hauing, as it should seeme vnto me, alwayes a greater care and respect how to keepe themselues from all kind of great heat, then how to prouide for any store of great roste. It had in it by report of them that should best know it, some foure thousand and moe, of very good able fighting men, and sixe hundred horsemen at the least. No question but that they were well furnished of all things appertaining thereunto, especially so many good ships lying there, and being so well stored with all manner of munition, shot, and powder, as they were.

Whether they had knowledge of our comming or no, I can say nothing to it: Themselues giue it out that they vnderstood not of it, but onely by a Carauel the Friday at euening before we came. But whether they knew it or no, thus much I dare boldly affirme, that if the English had bene possessed of that or the like Towne, and had bene but halfe so well prouided as they were, they would haue defended it for one two moneths at the least, against any power whatsoeuer in at Christendome. But surely GOD is a mighty GOD, and hath a wonderfull secret stroke in all matters, especially of weight and moment. Whether their hearts were killed at the mighty ouerthrow by sea, or whether they were amased at the inuincible courage of the English, which was more then ordinary, caring no more for either small shot or great, then in a maner for so many hailestones, or whether the remorse of a guilty conscience toward the English nation, for their dishonourable and diuelish practices, against her Sacred Maiestie, and the Realme, (a matter that easily begetteth a faint heart in a guilty minde) or what other thing there was in it I know not, but be it spoken to their perpetuall shame and infamie, there was neuer thing more resolutely perfourmed, of the couragious English, nor more shamefully lost of the bragging Spaniard.

Of what wealth this towne should be, I am not able to resolue the asker: for I confesse that for mine owne part, I had not so much good lucke, as to be partaker so much as of one pennie, or penny worth. Howbeit my ill fortune maketh that towne neuer a whit the poorer. But as it should appear by the great pillage by the common souldiers, and some mariners too, and by the goodly furnitures; that were defaced by the baser people, and thereby vtterly lost and spoyled, as not woorth the carying away, and by the ouer great plenty of Wine, Oyle, Almonds, Oliues, Raisins, Spices, and other rich grocery wares, that by the intemperate disorder of some of the rasher sort were knockt out, and lay trampled vnder feete, in euery common high way, it should appeare that it was of some very mighty great wealth to the first owners, though perchance, not of any such great commoditie to the last subduers, for that I iudge that the better part was most ryotously and intemperately spent and consumed. A disorder in mine opinion very much to be lamented, and if it might be by any good meanes remedied, in my conceit, it were a most honourable deuice.

The Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday following, the Lords Generall spent in counsell, about the disposing of all matters, aswell touching the towne and prisoners, as also concerning all other matters, thought meete of them in their honourable wisedomes, and in all that meane while did shew such honourable bounty and mercy, as is not able to be expressed. For not onely the liues of euery one were spared, but also there was an especial care had, that al the Religious, as wel men as women, should be well and fauourably intreated, whom freely without any maner of ransome or other molestation, they caused to be safely transported ouer to Port Saint Marie, a towne in a maner as fayre as Cadiz: but at that time, as the case did stand, certainly knowen to be of no wealth in the world, and it was some sixe or seuen miles distant ouer against Cadiz, in a maner as Paules is against Southwarke, on the other side of the Bay, in a part of Andaluzia, subiect to the territory of the Duke de Medina Sidonio.

Moreouer, at the same instant they did appoint that worthy knight Sir Amias Preston, and some others in some conuenient Barkes, to transport ouer to the sayd Towne safely and in good order, a hundred or moe of the better sort of ancient gentlewomen, and marchants wiues, who were suffered to put vpon themselues, some of them two, yea, some three sutes of apparell, with some conuenient quantitie of many Iewels, Chaines, and other ornaments belonging to their estate and degree. Such was the heroicall liberality, and exceeding great clemencie of those most honourable Lords Generall, thereby, as it should seeme vnto mee, beating downe that false surmised opinion, which hath bene hitherto commonly spread abroad, and setled among the Spaniards: which is, That the English doe trouble them and their countries, more for their golde, riches and pearle &c. then for any other iust occasion. Whereas by these their honourable dealings it is manifest to all the world, that it is onely in respect of a iust reuenge for the manifolde iniuries, and most dishonourable practises that haue bene from time to time attempted by them against vs and our nation, and also in the defence of the true honour of England: which they haue sought, and daylie doe seeke, by so many sinister and reprochfull deuices, so much as in them lieth, to deface.

Vpon Saturday being the 26. Sir Iohn Winkfield knight was buried, in honourable and warlike manner, so farre foorth us the circumstances of that time and place could permit. At whose funerals the Nauie discharged a great part of their Ordinance, in such order, as was thought meete and conuenient by the Lords Generals commandement.

The twenty seuenth day being Sunday, in the Abbey the diuine seruice was had, and a learned Sermon was made there by one Master Hopkins, the right honourable Earle of Essex his Preacher, a man of good learning and sweete vtterance, and euen there the same day, something before the sermon was made, these worthie Gentlemen following were knighted by the Lords General. And here I am to signifie by the way that two of these were knighted three or foure dayes before, and some three or foure moe were knighted after that time, vpon certaine occasions: but yet I holde it beste (and I trust without offence) to recite their names in this place altogether.

The names of such noble men and gentlemen, as were knighted at Cadiz in Iune 1596 by the two most honourable Lordes Generall.

June 21. Sir Samuel Bagnol. Sir Alexander Clifford.
22. Sir Arthur Sauage. Sir Maurice Barkley.
27. The Earle of Sussex. Sir Charles Blunt
The Lord Harbert. Sir George Gifford.
The Lord Burk. Sir Robert Crosse.
Count Ludowick. Sir Iames Escudamor.
Sir William Howard. Sir Vrias Leigh.
Sir George D’Eureux. Sir Iohn Leigh, alias Lee.
Sir Henry Neuel. Sir Richard Weston.
Sir Edmund Rich. Sir Richard Wainman.
Sir Richard Leuen. Sir Iames Wootton.
Sir Peter Egomort. Sir Richard Ruddal.
Sir Anthonie Ashley. Sir Robert Mansfield.
Sir Henry Leonard. Sir William Mounson.
Sir Richard Leuison. Sir Iohn Bowles.
Sir Horatio Vere. Sir Edward Bowes.
Sir Arthur Throchmorton. Sir Humfrey Druel.
Sir Miles Corbet Sir Amias Preston.
Sir Edward Conway. Sir Robert Remington.
Sir Oliuer Lambert Sir Iohn Buck.
Sir Anthony Cooke. Sir Iohn Morgan.
Sir Iohn Townesend. Sir Iohn Aldridg.
Sir Christopher Heydon. Sir Iohn Asshindon.
Sir Francis Popham. Sir Matthew Browne.
Sir Philip Woodhouse. Sir Iohn Acton.
Sir Thomas Gates. Sir Iohn Gylbert.
Sir Gilly Mericke. Sir William Haruie.
Sir Thomas Smith. Sir Iohn Gray.
Sir William Pooley. Don Christ. prince of Portingall.
Sir Thomas Palmer. Sir Iohn Vanderfoord,
Sir Iohn Stafford. Admirall of the Hollanders.
Sir Robert Louel. Sir Robert Dudley. 8. August.

I am not curious in placing these gentlemen, but put them downe at a venture. Only I haue obserued, as neere as I could, the iust day and time when they were created. And I trust where the place of it selfe is so worthy and equall, there the bare naming and placing of the parties, shal brede no offence, or make a disparity. The two gentlemen that were last knighted receiued their knighthood in the way of our returne from Cadiz: the one of them vpon the sea, not farre from the Bay of the Groyne, at what time our ships stood vpon their staies for a space while certaine Pinnasses were sent to descrie what shipping was at the Groine: The other at Plimmouth in the open streete, when the Lords Generall came from the Sermon. The one a man of long seruice, and good desert among the Dutch: the other of so many good parts of a worthy gentleman, as the like are seldome seene to concurre in any.

I spake in the beginning of her Majesties praier, which I presumed (though vnworthy) to translate into Latine: and nowe at this very time there was some opportunity offered, for to make some vse of that translation. For nowe being in Cadiz, attending vpon my most honourable good Lord, I talked with certaine of the Religious men, such as I found learned, whereof indeed there were some, though not very many. I talked also with the Bishop of Cusco there, a graue aged comely man, and being of late chosen to that Bishopricke, he was as then to have gone to the Indies had not we then taken him prisoner, and so stayed his iourney for that time. With these men euer as occasion did serue, I did seeke nowe and then to spende some speech, and to entertaine time withall, I would breake with them of this our victorie, and of the iniuries and bad dealings of their Prince and Countrey offered to her Maiestie, whereby shee was prouoked, and in a manner drawn to this action: though otherwise of her own most excellent princely good nature, she was altogether giuen to peace, and quietnes. And alwayes in some part of our conferences, I would shew them a copie of her Maiesties praier in Latine, which I had alwayes of purpose ready about me; whereby it might the better appeare vnto them, how vnwillingly, and vpon how great and vrgent occasions her Maiesty was, as it were enforced to vndertake this action: and therewithall I did vse now and then to bestow vpon them a copy of the same in writing. They seemed in all outward shew to allow of my speeches, and to praise her Maiesties good inclination; and earnestly to wish that there might be a firme concord and peace againe.

It pleased the Lords general to deale exceeding fauourably with this said Bishop of Cusco: for it was their good pleasure to giue him his free passage without any ransome, and therewithal to let him to vnderstand, that they came not to deale with Church-men, or vnarmed men, or with men of peace, weaklings and children, neither was it any part of their meaning to make such a voyage for gold, siluer, or any other their wealth and riches, &c. But that, their only comming was to meet with their dishonorable practises, and manifold iniuries, and to deale with men of warre and valour, for the defence of the true honour of England: and to let them to vnderstand, that whensoeuer they attempted any base-conceited and dishonorable practise to their soueraigne Queene, their Mistresse, that it should be reuenged to the vttermost, &c.

In this meane space, while the Lords general continued at Cadiz, there came to them certain poore wretched Turks, to the number of 38, that had bin a long time gally-slaues, and either at the very time of the fight by sea, or els immediately thereupon, taking the opportunity, did then make their escape, and did swim to land: yeelding themselues to the mercy of their most honorable Lordships. It pleased them with all speed to apparel them, and to furnish them with money, and all other necessaries, and to bestow on them a barke, and a Pilot, to see them freely and safely conueied into Barbary, willing them to let the countrey vnderstand what was done, and what they had seene. Whereby I doubt not, but as her Maiesty is a most admirable Prince already, ouer all Europe, all Africk, and Asia, and throughout Christendome: so the whole worlde hereafter shall haue iust cause to admire her infinitely Princely vertues, and thereby bee prouoked to confesse, that as she hath bin mightily protected from time to time, by the powerful hand of the almighty, so vndoubtedly, that she is to be iudged and accounted of vs, to be his most sacred handmaide, and chosen vessel. And therefore, whatsoever wicked designement shalbe conspired and plotted against her Maiesty hereafter, shalbe thought to be conspired, plotted, and intended against the almighty himselfe: and for that cause, as I trust, shalbe by the infinite goodnes and mercy of that almighty, mightily frustrate and ouerthrowen.

The 28. day being Munday, the L. Admirall came aboord the Arke againe, minding there to remaine for a space, as indeed he did, and vpon the aduise of his Physition, to deale something in Physicke, for that his L. found his body something out of frame. At that time it pleased his L. to write certain letters to the Duke of Medina Sidonia, for the deliuerance of English captiues, who were remaining in the gallies. For by this time, it was reported, that the said Duke was come downe in person with some power, and that he was either at Port S. Mary, or els at Rotta, or thereabout. His L. did endite the letters himselfe, but his pleasure was, they should be turned into Latine by another: and so to be sent (as indeed they were) in the latine tongue vnto the Duke.

A copie of the Lord Admirals letters to the Duke of Medina Sidonia.

Illustrissimo Principi Duci de Medina Sidonia.

Illustrissime Princeps, ex nonnullis quibusdam Hispanis intelligimus, Excellentiam vestram iam nunc esse apud portam S. Mariæ. Et quoniam in anno Domini 1588. id nobis tunc muneris assignatum erat à sereniss. nostra Regina domina mea, vt contra vos, vestrásque copias, Ego solus pro eo tempore Generalis essem constitutus: Idcircò non opinamur vobis ignotum esse, quàm mite quoddam, et humanum bellandi genus, tum hîc iam in hoc ipso tempore, aduersus huius loci populum atque incolas vsurpauerimus: tum etiam sæpius antehac quâm humaniter, benignèque eos omnes tractauerimus, quos ex vestris iure belli captiuos acceperimus. Ex quorum numero quàm multa milia etiam gratis, nullo accepto pretio, libertate donauerimus, id putamus omnibus esse testatius, quàm vt à quoquam denegetur. Quocirca, neque vllo modo nobis in mentem venire potest, vt dubitemus, quin parem etiam in vobis humanitatem aduersus nostros captiuos simus reperturi. Cum igitur nobis compertum iam sit, habere vos in vestris galeris, ex Reginæ nostræ serenissimæ Dominæ meæ subditis vnum et quinquaginta captiuos: non equidem dubitamus, quin eos omnes sitis relaxaturi, et ad nos missuri: ea lege, ac conditione, vt totidem ex vestris hîc captíuis eiusdem loci atque ordinis, melioris etiam fortassis notæ, ac conditionis, homuncios, ad os vicissim remittamus. Id quod nos facturos data fide spondemus, quàm primùm nostros captiuos ex vestris manibus acceperimus. Hac in re si nostro desiderio ac voluntati parùm satisfactum erit, aliud profectò tunc posthac belli genus ingrediemur, aliúmque bellandi morem cogemur, etiam inuiti, et contra voluntatem prosequi. Ex Regia Anglicana classe apud Cadiz vltimo Iunij, stilo antiquo. 1596.

Carolus Howard.

These letters were sent by a Spaniard, and an answere was brought from the Duke with al conuenient speed, and as it should seeme by the L. Admirals next answere returned to him in writing, which immediately hereafter foloweth, the Duke de Medina Sidonia his letters were honorable, and with good regard.

A Copie of my L. Admirals second letter to the Duke of Medina Sidonia.

Illustrissimo Principi Duci de Medina Sidonia.

Illustrissime Princeps, literas ab excellentia vestra hodiè accepimus: quæ verò nostra sit ad illas responsio, nobiles isti viri, qui vestras literas ad nos pertulerunt: pleniùs declarabunt. Hoc interim cupimus esse penitùs persuasum Excellentiæ vestræ; nos sedulò operam daturos, vt in omni honorificæ benignitatis humanitatisque genere, expectationi vestræ omni ex parte respondeamus. Quod ad Anglicos nostros captiuos attinet, quos ab Excellentia vestra huc ad nos crastino die missum iri expectamus, in ea re pollicemur Excellentiæ vestræ, quòd plenius à nobis vestræ voluntati satisfactum erit: et quòd pro illis captiuis tales nos captiuos vobis remittemus, quales tum ab ipso Dom. Mendoza, tum ab alijs illustrib. viris, qui à Dom. Porta Carero in illorum ad nos fauorem mittebantur, communi cum consensu erant ab ipsis approbati. Si verò quis alius iam captiuus est vel posthac futurus erit in nostra potestate, pro cuius redemptione nondum plenè conuentum est et stipulatum de certo pretio persoluendo: concedimus Excellentiæ vestræ, vt in hoc etiam casu vos, vestro pro arbitrio, de illis quicquid velitis, imperetis. Ex Regia classe Anglicana, apud Cadiz, 3. die Iulij stylo antique. 1596.

Carolus Howard.

The next day after, being the 4. of Iuly, the L. L. generall caused the towne of Cadiz to be set on fire, and rased and defaced so much as they could, the faire cathedral Church, and the religious houses only being spared, and left vnblemished. And with the town al such prouision for shipping, and other things, as were seruiceable for the K. vse, and yet were not either so conuenient for vs to be caried away, or els such as we stood no whit at all in need of, were likewise at the same instant consumed with fire. And presently therupon, their Lordships, with as conuenient, speed as they could, and the whole army in such good order and leisure, as they thought best, came aboord.

The next day being the 5. of Iuly, the L. L. generall with all the armie being vnder saile and now making for England, and but as yet passing the very mouth of the Bay of Cadiz, a galley full of English prisoners, with a flag of truce, met vs from Rotta, sent by the D. of Medina Sidonia, and sent as it should seeme, one day later then his promise: but yet their flag being either not big enough, or not wel placed in the galley, or not wel discerned of our men, or by what other mischance I know not: but thus it was: by one of our smallest ships that sailed formost, assoone as the said galley came within gunshot, there was a great peece discharged vpon her, and at that instant there was one man slaine outright, and 2. other grieuously hurt. The error being espied and perceiued, our ship gaue ouer immediatly from any farther shooting. Assoone as the galley came neere vs, my L. Admirall caused a gracious salutation to be sounded with his trumpets, and willed the captains forthwith to come aboord his ship: which they did, and then he feasted them with a very fine and honorable banket, as the time and place might serve. And then by them vnderstanding of that unfortunate mischance that had hapned by the shot of the said ship, he was very sory for the same, and yet such was the merciful prouidence of almighty God, that euen in this mischance also, he did hold his holy hand ouer the English. And al the harme that was done did light onely vpon the poore Turk, and the Spaniard himselfe. When this Lorde had well banqueted them, hee presently called for his barge, and did accompany the said galley to the Lorde general the Earle of Essex, who then did ride with his ship a good distance off: and there they being in like maner most honorably receiued, and intertained, the Spanish gentlemen deliuered vp their prisoners the English captiues, of whom some had bin there 6 yere, some 8, or ten: yea, and some 22. yeere, and vpward, and some of them but lately taken in S. Francis Drakes last voiage to the Indies. The number of the prisoners deliuered were but 39, and no mo, and were brought in, and deliuered by Don Antonio de Corolla and his brother, and, by Don Pedro de Cordua, and certaine others. If you demaund why, of one and fiftie Captiues, there were no moe deliuered then was, I presuppose, (and I thinke it true to) that at that time the residue were farther off in some remote places of Spaine bestowed, and so by that meanes, not able at this time to bee in a readinesse, but yet like enough that there is some good order taken for them hereafter, to be redeemed, and sent ouer into England.

If any man presume here so farre, as to enquire how it chanced, that the Lords generall rested so long at Cadiz, and went no farther, and why Port S. Mary being so faire a towne, and so neere to them, was forborne? and why Sheres aliàs Xeres? And why Rotta and the like? And why this or that was done? And why that or this left vndone? I will not answere him with our common English prouerbe, as I might, which is: That one foole may aske moe questions in one houre, then ten discrete men can wel answere in fiue dayes.

But that graue auncient writer, Cornelius Tacitus, hath a wise, briefe, pithy saying, and it is this: “Nemo tentauit inquirere in columnas Herculis, sanctiúsque ac reuerentius habitum est de factis Deorum credere, quàm scire.” Which saying, in my fancy, fitteth marueilous well for this purpose: and so much the rather, for that this Cadiz is that very place, (at least by the common opinion) where those said pillers of Hercules were thought to be placed: and, as some say, remaine as yet not farre off to be seene. But to let that passe, the saying beareth this discrete meaning in it, albeit in a prety kind of mystical maner vttered: That it befitteth not inferiour persons to be curious, or too inquisitiue after Princes actions, neither yet to be so sawcy and so malapert, as to seeke to diue into their secrets, but rather alwayes to haue a right reuerend conceite and opinion of them, and their doings: and thereon so resting our inward thoughts, to seek to go no further, but so to remaine ready alwaies to arme our selues with dutiful minds, and willing obedience, to perform and put in execution that which in their deepe insight and heroicall designements, they shall for our good, and the care of the common wealth determine vpon.

This, and much lesse to, might suffice to satisfie any honest minded man. But yet if any will needs desire to be a little farther satisfied, albeit it neede not, yet then, this much I dare say and affirme, that vpon my knowledge, the chiefest cause why Port Saint Mary, and the rest were left vntouched, was this: For that it was most certainly knowen, that they were townes not woorth the saluting of such a royal companie, in which there was no maner of wealth in the world left, more then bare houses of stone, and standing walles, and might well haue serued rather as a stale, perchance, to haue entrapped, then as a meanes to haue enriched. And it had bin more then a suspicion of follie, for such an army as this, to haue sought to fight with the aire, and to haue laboured with great paine and charges, yea, and with some euident danger too, to haue ouerthrowen that, which could very litle or nothing haue profited, being destroyed: and yet nowe, can doe as little harme being left, as it is, vntouched.

And thus much for our iourney to Cadiz: for the accidents that happened by the way, for the winning, spoiling, and burning of the saide towne, for the ouerthrowe of the Spanish Fleet there, and for al other by-matters that happened, as appendances to the same, both in the time of our abode there, as also at the very last houre of our comming from thence.

As for our returne home, and our entrance into a part of Portingal by the way, with the taking, spoyling, and burning of the towne of Faraon there, and marching into the Spanish confines therabouts, &c. I minde to leaue it to some other, whose chance was to be present at the action, as myselfe was not, and shalbe of more sufficient ability to performe it.

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