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Mary Rose, the Rainbow, and the Dreadnought. To second these came up the earl and the Swiftsure ; and these were all that did ought against six goodly galleons, two argosies, three frigates, seventeen galleys, and the fort of Puntall, backed by the admiral of Nueva Espana, and others; in all, fifty-five or fifty-seven.
This being happily finished, we prepared to land the army, and to attempt the town; in which there were, of all sorts, some five thousand foot burghers, one hundred and fifty soldiers in pay, and some eight hundred horse of the gentry, and cavalleros of Xeres, gathered together upon the discovery of our fleet two days before, while we were becalmed off Cape St. Mary. The horsemen sallied out to resist the landing; but were so well withstood, that they most took their way toward the bridge which leadeth into the main, called Puento Souse ; the rest retired to the town, and so hardly followed, as they were driven to leave their horses at the port, (which the inhabitants durst not open, to let them in,) and so they leaped down an old wall into the suburbs; and being so closely followed by the vanguard of our footmen, as when the general perceived an entrance there, he thought it was possible for ours to do the like; upon which occasion the town was carried with a sudden fury, and with little loss; only sir John Wingfield was slain, sir Edward Wingfield, captain Bagnall, and captain Medick hurt; other men of quality, few or none.
For the particular behaviour of any that entered, I cannot otherwise deliver than by report; for I received a grievous blow in my leg, interlaced and deformed with splinters, in the fight; yet being desirous to see every man's disposition, I was carried ashore on men's shoulders; and as soon as my horse was recovered, my lord admiral sent one unto me, but I was not able to abide above an hour in the town, for the torment I suffered, and for the fear I had to be shouldered in the press, and among the tumultuous, disordered soldiers, that, being then given to spoil and rapine, had no respect. The same night I returned, chiefly for that ihere was no admiral left to order the fleet, and,
RALEGH, MISC. WORKS. XX
indeed, few or no people in the navy; all running headlong to the sack; and, secondly, because I was unfit for ought but ease at that time.
At the break of day following I sent to the generals, to have order to follow the fleet of ships bound for the Indies ; which were said to be worth twelve millions, and lay in Puerto Reall road, where they could not escape. But the town was taken, and the confusion great: it was almost impossible for them to order many things at once; so as I could not receive any answer to my desire.
The afternoon of the same day, those which were merchants of Cales and Sevill offered the generals two millions to spare that fleet ; whereupon there was nothing done for the present: but the morning following, being the twentythird of June, the D. of Medina caused all that fleet of merchants to be set on fire ; because he was resolved that they must needs have fallen into our hands. So as now both galleons, frigates, argosies, and all other ships of war, together with the fleet of Nueva Espana, were all converted into ashes ; only the St. Matthew and the St. Andrew were in our possession. Much of the ordnance of the St. Philip hath been saved by the Flemings, who have had great spoil. There is embarked good store of ordnance out of the town; and the two apostles aforesaid are well furnished, which (God willing) we purpose to bring into England. The town of Cales was very rich in merchandise, in plate, and money; many rich prisoners given to the land commanders, so as that sort are very rich. Some had prisoners for sixteen thousand ducats ; some for twenty thousand; some for ten thousand; and besides, great houses of merchandise. What the generals have gotten, I know least ; they protest it is little : for mine own part, I have gotten a lame leg, and a deformed : for the rest, either I spake too late, or it was otherwise resolved. I have not wanted good words, and exceeding kind and regardful usage; but I have possession of nought but poverty and pain. If God had spared me that blow, I had possessed myself of some house.
Articles propounded by the Earl of Essex upon the Alarum given by the Spaniards in the
BESIDES many advertisements of the great preparations of Spain, of their forwardness or rather full readiness to set sail, of their purpose to come for England; it is now told us by two of our own countrymen, captains of two English barks, and confessed by the Portingals whom they took prisoners upon the coast, that the adelantado in person, with twenty ships of the king's and seventy others, transporters of soldiers, did set out of Lisbon more than three weeks since, and that the eighteenth of the last month, after our account, he was near the cape Finisterræ and did the next day put into the Groine or Ferrol. To this, which they deliver upon knowledge, they add reports, that there were many other ships to join with their fleet, which came out of the straits, some from Andalusia and some from Biscay and the north.
Upon these advertisements may grow two questions :
1. The first, whether they will come presently, hoping to take us unprovided, or stay till the spring, when they may come in greater strength, and have a better season of the year?
2. The other, whether they intend an invasion, or only an incursion?
3. If incursion, (though it be impossible to provide every where,) yet how he is to be impeached from making any dangerous incursion to us or greatly prejudicial to our estate ?
4. If invasion, which are the ports he is likest to lodge in ?
5. Whether any places that are of importance near to those ports, being now undefensible, should be fortified or not?
6. How if the Spaniard be lodged in any port we shall seek to dispossess him ?
7. Whether if he be on foot with great forces we shall hazard a battle with him, and if at all, at what time?
8. What must be our stores of munition, and magazines of victual, and where they are to be kept ?
9. What may be added to our former directions for the disciplining or training of those men, who shall make the body of the army that shall first encounter the enemy?
10. Whether the said numbers that were appointed in the year eighty-eight to be assembled, and to make a head, may not be changed, lessened, or increased, by the discretion of him unto whom her majesty gives her commission.
The Opinion of Sir Walter Ralegh upon the same
Articles. First, if we consider without further circumstance that the fleet which was at Lisbon is already gone to Groine, and has doubled cape Finisterræ, we may then with good reason conceive that they purpose to be on our coast forth with: but there are three reasons that may again hold us in doubt that they will not set out till the spring or summer.
First, it is very certain that there is great scarcity of
victual in Lisbon, and therefore the army (not being able to be sustained there) the same is drawn into
Biscay, where there is great plenty of all things. Secondly, because there is a better outlet from the Groine than from the river of Lisbon ; for the winds take them short within the bay, if they fall not again directly with the mouth of Lisbon they shall be in danger of shipwreck: that may be the second cause
of their coming thither. The third reason is, that it seemeth by the intelli
gence that they expect ships out of the straits from Andalusia, and now therefore the Groine being found fitter both for ford and outlet, their coming thither doth not so certainly prove any sudden approach, which together with the expectation of forces far off,
doth promise and assure us a longer time to prepare for defence, and that their necessities have drawn them thither, rather than that they are so far onward
in their way. Secondly, whether they intend invasion or incursion I will not presume to judge. I have not known or read that any prince hath invaded without these two, able power and party. How the Spanish king can gather such an army and fleet together in so short time, considering his late losses, I conceive not. He was three years in the preparation for Portugal, and yet had a strong party, and entered upon the same continent. The enterprise of eighty-eight required no less time. The garrisons of Naples and Milan were then drawn down, which we hear not of at this time. On the other side, it is unlikely that the Spanish king will undertake any small affair, and it is safe to provide for the worst. But if we shall believe it to be an invasion, I am of opinion that it will be late in the summer ere the same be attempted, and the enterprise will be by this observation made most manifest. If the army of the Low Countries shall be used upon any part of France or the Low Countries, whereby it may be wasted or receive loss, I do then, under correction, assure myself that there will be no invasion. If the same rest, and hold itself in strength, and withal draw down towards the sea-side, the invasion may be then very much doubted.
To the third article, I think it is impossible to provide safely for an incursion, because the purpose and counsel is unknown. There is order already for interchangeable succour between the lieutenants. It were withal in mine opinion very requisite that there be view taken how the forts upon the coast be provided of munitions, and that the captains of the same be not only commanded to repair unto them, but charged to keep their full numbers, and that those companies appointed to succour the forts be directed to come unto them armed, whereas now they make repair without weapon. And if there were a sufficient fleet of ships to lie in the entrance of the channel, then the enemy shall not dara