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wherewith she was pierced or hurt: her upper worke was of force sufficient to beare off a Musket shot: this ship was shot thorow and pierced in the fight before Greveling: insomuch that the leakage of the water could not be stopped: whereupon the Duke of Medina sent his great skiffe unto the Governour thereof, that he might save himselfe and the principall persons that were in his ship: which he, upon a hault courage, refused to doe: wherefore the Duke charged him to saile next unto himselfe: which the night following hee could not performe, by reason of the abundance of water which entered his ship on all sides; for the avoiding whereof, and to save his ship from sinking, he caused fifty men continually to labour at the Pump, though it were to small purpose. And seeing himselfe thus forsaken and separated from his Admiral, he endevored what he could to attaine unto the coast of Flanders; where being espied by foure or five men of war, which had their station assigned them upon the same coast: he was admonished to yeelde himselfe unto them; which he refused to doe, was strongly assaulted by them altogether, & his ship being pierced with many bullets, was brought into far worse case then before, & forty of his souldiers were slain. By which extremity he was enforced at length to yeelde himselfe unto Peter Banderduess and other Captaine, which brought him and his ship into Zeland; and that other ship also last before mentioned: which both of them, immediatly after the greater and better part of their goods were unladen, sunke right downe. For the memory of this exploit, the foresaid Captain Banderduess caused a Banner of one of these ships to be set up in the great Church of Leiden in Holland, which is of so great a length, that being fasted to the very roofe, it reached downe to the ground. About the same time another small ship being by necessity driven upon the coast of Flanders, about Blankenberg, was cast away upon the sands, the people therein being saved.
The 29. of July the Spanish fleete being encountered by the English (as is aforesaid) and lying close together under their fighting sailes, with a South-west winde sailed past Dunkerk, the English ships still following the chase. Of whom the day following, when the Spaniards had got Sea roome, they cut their maine sailes; whereby they sufficiently declared that they meant no longer to fight, but to fie. For which cause the Lord Admirall of England dispatched the Lord Henry Seymer with his squadron of small ships unto the coast of Flanders, where, with the helpe of the Dutch ships, he might stop the Prince of Parma his passage, if perhaps he should attempt to issue forth with his army. And he himselfe in the meane space pursued the Spanish fleet untill the second of August, because he thought they had set saile for Scotland. And albeit he followed them very neere, yet did he not assault them any more, for want of Powder and Bullets. But upon the fourth of August, the winde arising, when as the Spaniards had spread all their sailes, betaking themselves wholly to flight, & leaving Scotland on the left hand, trended toward Norway (whereby they sufficiently declared that their whole intent was to save themselves by flight, attempting for that purpose, with their battered and crazed ships, the most dangerous navigation of the Northern Seas) the English seeing that they were now proceeded unto the latitude of 57. degrees, and being unwilling to participate that danger whereinto the Spaniards plunged themselves, and because they wanted things necessary, and especially Powder and Shot, returned backe for England; leaving behinde them certaine Pinasses onely, which they enjoyned to follow the Spaniards aloofe, and to observe their course.
And so it came to passe, that the fourth of August, with great danger and industry, the English arrived at Harwich; for they had beene tossed up and downe with a mighty tempest for the space of two or three dayes together, which did great hurt unto the Spanish fleet, being (as I said before) so maimed and battered. The English now going on shoare, provided themselves forthwith of Victuals, Gunpowder, and other things expedient, that they might be ready at all assayes to entertaine the Spanish fleete, if it chanced any more to returne. But being afterward more certainely informed of the Spaniards course, they thought it best to leave them unto those boisterous and uncouth Northren Seas, and not there to hunt after them.
The Spaniards seeing now that they wanted foure or five thousand of their people, and having divers maimed and sicke persons, and likewise having lost ten or twelve of their principall ships, they consulted among themselves, what they were best to doe, being now escaped out of the hands of the English, because their victuals failed them in like sort, & they began also to want cables, cordage, ankers, masts, sailes, and other navall furniture, and utterly despaired of the Duke of Parma his assistance (who verily hoping & undoubtedly expecting the return of the Spanish feet, was continually occupied about his great preparation, commanding abundance of ankers to be made, and other necessary furniture for a Navy to be provided) they thought it good at length, so soone as the winde should serve them, to fetch a compasse about Scotland and Ireland, and so to returne for Spaine.
[BY SIR WALTER RALEIGH, with introduction and final note by JAMES ANTHONY FROUDE]
N August, 1591, Lord Thomas Howard, with six
English line-of-battle ships, six victuallers, and two
or three pinnaces, was lying at anchor under the Island of Florez. Light in ballast and short of water, with half his men disabled by sickness, Howard was unable to pursue the aggressive purpose on which he had been sent out. Several of the ships' crews were on shore; the ships themselves "all pestered and rommaging," with everything out of order. In this condition they were surprised by a Spanish fleet consisting of fiftythree men-of-war. Eleven out of the twelve English ships obeyed the signal of the admiral, to cut or weigh their anchors, and escape as they might. The twelfth, the Revenge, was unable for the moment to follow. Of her crew of 190, ninety were sick on shore, and, from the position of the ship, there was some delay and difficulty in getting them on board. The Revenge was commanded by Sir Richard Grenville, of Bideford, a man well known in the Spanish seas, and the terror of the Spanish sailors; so fierce he was said to be, that mythic stories passed from lip to lip about him, and, like Earl Talbot or Cæur de Lion, the nurses at the Azores frightened children with the sound of his name. "He was of great revenues, of his own inheritance,” they said, "but of unquiet mind, and greatly affected to wars”; and from his uncontrollable propensities for blood-eating, he had volunteered his services to the Queen; "of so hard a complexion was he, that I (John Huighen von Linschoten, who is our authority here, and who was with the Spanish fleet after the action) have been told by divers credible persons who stood and beheld him, that he would carouse three or four glasses of wine, and take the glasses between his teeth and crush them in pieces and swallow them down.” Such Grenville was to the Spaniard. To the English he was a goodly and gallant gentleman, who had never turned his back upon an enemy, and was remarkable in that remarkable time for his constancy and daring. In this surprise at Florez he was in no haste to fly. He first saw all his sick on board and stowed away on the ballast; and then, with no more than 100 men left him to fight and work the ship, he deliberately weighed, uncertain, as it seemed at first, what he intended to do. The Spanish feet were by this time on his weather bow, and he was persuaded (we here take his cousin Raleigh's beautiful narrative, and follow it in Raleigh's words) “to cut his mainsail and cast about, and trust to the sailing of the ship":
“But Sir Richard utterly refused to turn from the enemy, alledging that he would rather choose to die than to dishonour himself, his country, and her Majesty's ship, persuading his company that he would pass through their two squadrons in spite of them, and enforce those of Seville to give him way: which he performed upon diverse of the foremost, who, as the mariners term it, sprang their luff, and fell under the lee of the Revenge. But the other course had been the better, and might right