Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

THE INVINCIBLE ARMADA

[From "Purchas His Pilgrimes," By Samuel Purchas]

T

HE Lord high Admirall of England being thus

on the sudden, namely upon the 19. of July

about foure of the clocke in the afternoone, enformed by the Pinnace of Captaine Fleming aforesaid, of the Spaniards approach, with all speede and diligence possible hee warped his Ships, and caused his Mariners and Souldiers to come on boord, and that with great trouble and difficultie, insomuch that the Lord Admirall himselfe was faine to lie without in the road with six Ships onely all that night, after the which many others came forth of the haven. The very next day, being the 20. of July about high noone, was the Spanish Fleet descried by the English, which with a South-west winde came sailing along, and passed by Plimmouth; in which regard (according to the judgement of many skilfull Navigators) they greatly overshot themselves, whereas it had beene more commodious for them to have staied themselves there, considering that the Englishmen being as yet unprovided, greatly relied upon their owne forces, and knew not the estate of the Spanish Navie. Moreover, this was the most convenient Port of all others, where they might with greater security have beenc advertised of the English forces, and how the commons of the land stood affected, and might have stirred up some mutinie, so that hither they should have bent all their

1

more

puissance, and from hence the Duke of Parma might
more easily have conveied his Ships. But this they were
prohibited to doe by the King and his Counsell, and were
expresly commanded to unite themselves unto the soul-
diers and ships of the said Duke of Parma, and so to
bring their purpose to effect. Which was thought to be
the most easie and direct course, for that they imagined
that the English and Dutch men would be utterly daunted
and dismaied thereat, and would each man of them
retire unto his owne Province or Port for the defence
thereof, and transporting the Armie of the Duke
under the protection of their huge Navie, they might
invade England. It is reported that the chiefe com-
manders in the Navy, and those which were
skilfull in navigation, to wit, John Martines de Ricalde,
Diego Flores de Valdez, and divers others, found
fault that they were bound unto so strict directions
and instructions, because that in such a case many
particular accidents ought to concurre and to be re-
spected at one and the same instant, that is to say, the
opportunitie of the winde, weather, time, tide, and ebbe,
wherein they might saile from Flanders to England,
Oftentimes also the darknesse and light, the situation of
places, the depths and shoalds were to be considered:
all which especially depended upon the conveniency of
the windes, and were by so much the more dangerous.
But it seemed that they were enjoyned by their Commis-
sion to ancre neere unto, or about Caleis, whither the
Duke of Parma with his ships and all his warlike provi-
sion was to resort, and while the English and Spanish
great ships were in the midst of their conflict, to passe by,
and to land his souldiers upon the Downes. The Span-
ish Captives reported that they were determined first to

3

« ForrigeFortsæt »