Drake's Great Armada
Walter Biggs

Etext prepared by Dagny, dagnyj@hotmail.com
and John Bickers, jbickers@ihug.co.nz


This text was prepared from a 1910 edition, published by P F
Collier & Son Company, New York.

Drake's Great Armada

by Captain Walter Biggs


Nearly five years elapsed between Drake's return from his Famous
Voyage and the despatch of the formidable armament commemorated in the
following pages. During the last of these years the march of events
had been remarkably rapid. Gilbert, who had been empowered by
Elizabeth, in the year of Frobisher's last expedition, to found
colonies in America, had sailed for that purpose to Newfoundland
(1583), and had perished at sea on his way homeward. Raleigh, who had
succeeded to his half-brother's enterprises, had despatched his
exploring expedition to 'Virginia,' under Amadas and Barlow, in 1584,
and had followed it up in the next year (1585) by an actual colony. In
April Sir Richard Greenville sailed from Plymouth, and at Raleigh's
expense established above a hundred colonists on the island of
Roanoak. Drake's Great Armada left Plymouth in September of the same
year. It marked a turning-point in the relations between the English
and Spanish monarchs. Elizabeth, knowing that the suppression of the
insurrection in the Netherlands would be followed by an attack upon
England, was treating with the insurgents. Philip deemed it prudent to
lay an embargo on all her subjects, together with their ships and
goods, that might be found in his dominions. Elizabeth at once
authorized general reprisals on the ships and goods of Spaniards. A
company of adventurers was quickly formed for taking advantage of this
permission on a scale commensurate with the national resources. They
equipped an armada of twenty-five vessels, manned by 2,300 men, and
despatched it under the command of Drake to plunder Spanish America.
Frobisher was second in command. Two-thirds of the booty were to
belong to the adventurers; the remaining third was to be divided among
the men employed in the expedition.

Drake's armament of 1585 was the greatest that had ever crossed the
Atlantic. After plundering some vessels at the Vigo river, he sailed
for the West Indies by way of the Canaries and Cape Verde Islands,
hoisted the English flag over Santiago and burnt the town, crossed the
Atlantic in eighteen days, and arrived at Dominica. At daybreak, on
New Year's Day, 1586, Drake's soldiers landed in Espanola, a few miles
to the west of the capital, and before evening Carlile and Powell had
entered the city, which the colonists only saved from destruction by
the payment of a heavy ransom. Drake's plan was to do exactly the same
at Carthagena and Nombre de Dios, and thence to strike across the
isthmus and secure the treasure that lay waiting for transport at
Panama. Drake held St. Domingo for a month, and Carthagena for six
weeks. He was compelled to forego the further prosecution of his
enterprise. A deadly fever, which had attacked the men during the
sojourn at Santiago, still continued its ravages. In existing
circumstances, even had Nombre de Dios been successfully attacked, the
march to Panama was out of the question; and after consultation with
the military commanders, Drake resolved on sailing home at once by way
of Florida. He brought back with him all the colonists who had been
left by Sir Richard Greenville in 'Virginia.' Drake had offered either
to furnish them with stores, and to leave them a ship, or to take them
home. The former was accepted: but a furious storm which ensued caused
them to change their minds. They recognized in it the hand of God,
whose will it evidently was that they should no longer be sojourners
in the American wilderness; and the first English settlement of
'Virginia' was abandoned accordingly.

Ten years afterwards (1595) Drake was again at the head of a similar
expedition. The second command was given to his old associate Hawkins,
Frobisher, his Vice-Admiral in 1585, having recently died of the wound
received at Crozon. This time Nombre de Dios was taken and burnt, and
750 soldiers set out under Sir Thomas Baskerville to march to Panama:
but at the first of the three forts which the Spaniards had by this
time constructed, the march had to be abandoned. Drake did not long
survive this second failure of his favourite scheme. He was attacked
by dysentery a fortnight afterwards, and in a month he died. When he
felt the hand of death upon him, he rose, dressed himself, and
endeavoured to make a farewell speech to those around him. Exhausted
by the effort, he was lifted to his berth, and within an hour breathed
his last. Hawkins had died off Puerto Rico six weeks previously.

The following narrative is in the main the composition of Walter Biggs,
who commanded a company of musketeers under Carlile. Biggs was one of
the five hundred and odd men who succumbed to the fever. He died
shortly after the fleet sailed from Carthagena; and the narrative was
completed by some comrade. The story of this expedition, which had
inflicted such damaging blows on the Spaniards in America, was
eminently calculated to inspire courage among those who were resisting
them in Europe. Cates, one of Carlile's lieutenants, obtained the
manuscript and prepared it for the press, accompanied by illustrative
maps and plans. The publication was delayed by the Spanish Armada; but
a copy found its way to Holland, where it was translated into Latin,
and appeared at Leyden, in a slightly abridged form, in 1588. The
original English narrative duly appeared in London in the next year.
The document called the 'Resolution of the Land-Captains' was inserted
by Hakluyt when he reprinted the narrative in 1600.



A Summary and True Discourse of Sir Francis Drake's West Indian
Voyage, begun in the year 1585. Wherein were taken the cities of
Santiago, Santo Domingo, Carthagena, and the town of St. Augustine, in
Florida. Published by Master Thomas Cates.

This worthy knight, for the service of his prince and country, having
prepared his whole fleet, and gotten them down to Plymouth, in
Devonshire, to the number of five and twenty sail of ships and
pinnaces, and having assembled of soldiers and mariners to the number
of 2,300 in the whole, embarked them and himself at Plymouth
aforesaid, the 12th day of September, 1585, being accompanied with
these men of name and charge which hereafter follow: Master
Christopher Carlile, Lieutenant-General, a man of long experience in
the wars as well by sea as land, who had formerly carried high offices
in both kinds in many fights, which he discharged always very happily,
and with great good reputation; Anthony Powell, Sergeant-Major;
Captain Matthew Morgan, and Captain John Sampson, Corporals of the
Field. These officers had commandment over the rest of the land-
captains, whose names hereafter follow: Captain Anthony Platt, Captain
Edward Winter, Captain John Goring, Captain Robert Pew, Captain George
Barton, Captain John Merchant, Captain William Cecil, Captain Walter
Biggs [The writer of the first part of the narrative.], Captain John
Hannam, Captain Richard Stanton. Captain Martin Frobisher, Vice-
Admiral, a man of great experience in seafaring actions, who had
carried the chief charge of many ships himself, in sundry voyages
before, being now shipped in the Primrose; Captain Francis Knolles,
Rear-Admiral in the galleon Leicester; Master Thomas Venner, captain
in the Elizabeth Bonadventure, under the General; Master Edward
Winter, captain in the Aid; Master Christopher Carlile, the
Lieutenant-General, captain of the Tiger; Henry White, captain of the
Sea-Dragon; Thomas Drake [Francis Drake's brother.], captain of the
Thomas; Thomas Seeley, captain of the Minion; Baily, captain of the
Talbot; Robert Cross, captain of the bark Bond; George Fortescue,
captain of the bark Bonner; Edward Careless, captain of the Hope;
James Erizo, captain of the White Lion; Thomas Moon, captain of the
Francis; John Rivers, captain of the Vantage; John Vaughan, captain of
the Drake; John Varney, captain of the George; John Martin, captain of
the Benjamin; Edward Gilman, captain of the Scout; Richard Hawkins,
captain of the galliot called the Duck; Bitfield, captain of the

After our going hence, which was the 14th of September, in the year of
our Lord 1585, and taking our course towards Spain, we had the wind
for a few days somewhat scant, and sometimes calm. And being arrived
near that part of Spain which is called the Moors [Muros, S. of Cape
Finisterre.], we happened to espy divers sails, which kept their
course close by the shore, the weather being fair and calm. The
General caused the Vice-Admiral to go with the pinnaces well manned to
see what they were; who upon sight of the said pinnaces approaching
near unto them, abandoned for the most part all their ships, being
Frenchmen, laden all with salt, and bound homewards into France.
Amongst which ships, being all of small burthen, there was one so well
liked, which also had no man in her, as being brought unto the
General, he thought good to make stay of her for the service, meaning
to pay for her, as also accordingly he performed at our return; which
bark was called the Drake. The rest of these ships, being eight or
nine, were dismissed without anything at all taken from them. Who
being afterwards put somewhat farther off from the shore, by the
contrariety of the wind, we happened to meet with some other French
ships, full laden with Newland fish, being upon their return homeward
from the said Newfoundland; whom the General after some speech had
with them, and seeing plainly that they were Frenchmen, dismissed,
without once suffering any man to go aboard of them.

The day following, standing in with the shore again, we decried
another tall ship of twelve score tons or thereabouts, upon whom
Master Carlile, the Lieutenant-General, being in the Tiger, undertook
the chase; whom also anon after the Admiral followed. And the Tiger
having caused the said strange ship to strike her sails, kept her
there without suffering anybody to go aboard until the Admiral was
come up; who forthwith sending for the master, and divers others of
their principal men, and causing them to be severally examined, found
the ship and goods to be belonging to the inhabitants of St.
Sebastian, in Spain, but the mariners to be for the most part
belonging to St. John de Luz, and the Passage. In this ship was great
store of dry Newland fish, commonly called with us Poor John; whereof
afterwards, being thus found a lawful prize, there was distribution
made into all the ships of the fleet, the same being so new and good,
as it did very greatly bestead us in the whole course of our voyage. A
day or two after the taking of this ship we put in within the Isles of
Bayon [The Cies Islets, at the mouth of the Vigo River.], for lack of
favourable wind. Where we had no sooner anchored some part of the
fleet, but the General commanded all the pinnaces with the shipboats
to be manned, and every man to be furnished with such arms as were
needful for that present service; which being done, the General put
himself into his galley, which was also well furnished, and rowing
towards the city of Bayon, with intent, and the favour of the
Almighty, to surprise it. Before we had advanced one half-league of
our way there came a messenger, being an English merchant, from the
governor, to see what strange fleet we were; who came to our General,
conferred a while with him, and after a small time spent, our General
called for Captain Sampson, and willed him to go to the governor of
the city, to resolve him of two points. The first to know if there
were any wars between Spain and England; the second, why our merchants
with their goods were embarged or arrested? Thus departed Captain
Sampson with the said messenger to the city, where he found the
governor and people much amazed of such a sudden accident. The
General, with the advice and counsel of Master Carlile, his
Lieutenant-General, who was in the galley with him, thought not good
to make any stand, till such time as they were within the shot of the
city, where they might be ready upon the return of Captain Sampson, to
make a sudden attempt, if cause did require, before it were dark.

Captain Sampson returned with his message in this sort:--First,
touching peace or wars, the governor said he knew of no wars and that
it lay not in him to make any, he being so mean a subject as he was.
And as for the stay of the merchants with their goods, it was the
king's pleasure, but not with intent to endamage any man. And that the
king's counter-commandment was (which had been received in that place
some seven-night before) that English merchants with their goods
should be discharged. For the more verifying whereof, he sent such
merchants as were in the town of our nation, who trafficked those
parts; which being at large declared to our General by them, counsel
was taken what might best be done. And for that the night approached,
it was thought needful to land our forces, which was done in the
shutting up of the day; and having quartered ourselves to our most
advantage, with sufficient guard upon every strait, we thought to rest
ourselves for that night there. The Governor sent us some refreshing,
as bread, wine, oil, apples, grapes, marmalade and such like. About
midnight the weather began to overcast, insomuch that it was thought
meeter to repair aboard, than to make any longer abode on land. And
before we could recover the fleet a great tempest arose, which caused
many of our ships to drive from their anchorhold, and some were forced
to sea in great peril, as the bark Talbot, the bark Hawkins, and the
Speedwell; which Speedwell only was driven into England, the others
recovered us again. The extremity of the storm lasted three days;
which no sooner began to assuage, but Master Carlile, our Lieutenant-
General, was sent with his own ship and three others, as also with the
galley and with divers pinnaces, to see what he might do above Vigo,
where he took many boats and some carvels, diversely laden with things
of small value, but chiefly with household stuff, running into the
high country. And amongst the rest he found one boat laden with the
principal church stuff of the high church of Vigo, where also was
their great cross of silver, of very fair embossed work and double-
gilt all over, having cost them a great mass of money. They complained
to have lost in all kinds of goods above thirty thousand ducats in
this place.

The next day the General with his whole fleet went from up the Isles
of Bayon to a very good harbour above Vigo, where Master Carlile
stayed his coming, as well for the more quiet riding of his ships, as
also for the good commodity of fresh watering which the place there
did afford full well. In the meantime the governor of Galicia had
reared such forces as he might (his numbers by estimate were some 2000
foot and 300 horse), and marched from Bayona to this part of the
country, which lay in sight of our fleet; where, making a stand, he
sent to parley with our General. Which was granted by our General, so
it might be in boats upon the water; and for safety of their persons
there were pledges delivered on both sides. Which done, the governor
of Galicia put himself with two others into our Vice-Admiral's skiff,
the same having been sent to the shore for him, and in like sort our
General went in his own skiff. Where by them it was agreed we should
furnish ourselves with fresh water, to be taken by our own people
quietly on the land, and have all other such necessaries, paying for
the same, as the place would afford.

When all our business was ended we departed, and took our way by the
Islands of Canaria, which are esteemed some 300 leagues from this part
of Spain; and falling purposely with Palma, with intention to have
taken our pleasure of that place, for the full digesting of many
things into order, and the better furnishing our store with such
several good things as it affordeth very abundantly, we were forced by
the vile sea-gate, which at that present fell out, and by the
naughtiness of the landing-place, being but one, and that under the
favour of many platforms well furnished with great ordnance, to depart
with the receipt of many of their cannon-shot, some into our ships and
some besides, some of them being in very deed full cannon high. But
the only or chief mischief was the dangerous sea-surge, which at shore
all alongst plainly threatened the overthrow of as many pinnaces and
boats as for that time should have attempted any landing at all.

Now seeing the expectation of this attempt frustrated by the causes
aforesaid, we thought it meeter to fall with the Isle Ferro, to see if
we could find any better fortune; and coming to the island we landed a
thousand men in a valley under a high mountain, where we stayed some
two or three hours. In which time the inhabitants, accompanied with a
young fellow born in England, who dwelt there with them, came unto us,
shewing their state to be so poor that they were all ready to starve,
which was not untrue; and therefore without anything gotten, we were
all commanded presently to embark, so as that night we put off to sea
south-south-east along towards the coast of Barbary.

Upon Saturday in the morning, being the 13th of November, we fell with
Cape Blank, which is a low land and shallow water, where we catched
store of fish; and doubling the cape, we put into the bay, where we
found certain French ships of war, whom we entertained with great
courtesy, and there left them. This afternoon the whole fleet
assembled, which was a little scattered about their fishing, and put
from thence to the Isles of Cape Verde, sailing till the 16th of the
same month in the morning; on which day we descried the Island of
Santiago. And in the evening we anchored the fleet between the town
called the Playa or Praya and Santiago; where we put on shore 1000 men
or more, under the leading of Master Christopher Carlile, Lieutenant-
General, who directed the service most like a wise commander. The
place where we had first to march did afford no good order, for the
ground was mountainous and full of dales, being a very stony and
troublesome passage; but such was his industrious disposition, as he
would never leave, until we had gotten up to a fair plain, where we
made stand for the assembling of the army. And when we were all
gathered together upon the plain, some two miles from the town, the
Lieutenant-General thought good not to make attempt till daylight,
because there was not one that could serve for guide or giving
knowledge at all of the place. And therefore after having well rested,
even half an hour before day, he commanded the army to be divided into
three special parts, such as he appointed, whereas before we had
marched by several companies, being thereunto forced by the badness of
the way as is aforesaid. Now by the time we were thus ranged into a
very brave order, daylight began to appear. And being advanced hard to
the wall, we saw no enemy to resist. Whereupon the Lieutenant-General
appointed Captain Sampson with thirty shot, and Captain Barton with
other thirty, to go down into the town, which stood in the valley
under us, and might very plainly be viewed all over from that place
where the whole army was now arrived; and presently after these
captains was sent the great ensign, which had nothing in it but the
plain English cross, to be placed towards the sea, that our fleet
might see St. George's cross flourish in the enemy's fortress. Order
was given that all the ordnance throughout the town and upon all the
platforms, which were about fifty pieces all ready charged, should be
shot off in honour of the Queen's Majesty's coronation day, being the
17th of November, after the yearly custom of England, which was so
answered again by the ordnance out of all the ships in the fleet,
which now come near, as it was strange to hear such a thundering noise
last so long together. In this mean while the Lieutenant-General held
still the most part of his force on the hilltop, till such time as the
town was quartered out for the lodging of the whole army. Which being
done, every captain took his own quarter; and in the evening was
placed such a sufficient guard upon every part of the town that we had
no cause to fear any present enemy. Thus we continued in the city the
space of fourteen days, taking such spoils as the place yielded, which
were, for the most part, wine, oil, meal, and some other such like
things for victual as vinegar, olives, and some other trash, as
merchandise for their Indian trades. But there was not found any
treasure at all, or anything else of worth besides.

The situation of Santiago is somewhat strange; in form like a
triangle, having on the east and west sides two mountains of rock and
cliff, as it were hanging over it; upon the top of which two mountains
were builded certain fortifications to preserve the town from any harm
that might be offered, as in a plot is plainly shewed. From thence on
the south side of the town is the main sea; and on the north side, the
valley lying between the aforesaid mountains, wherein the town
standeth. The said valley and town both do grow very narrow; insomuch
that the space between the two cliffs of this end of the town is
estimated not to be above ten or twelve score [yards] over. In the
midst of the valley cometh down a riveret, rill, or brook of fresh
water, which hard by the seaside maketh a pond or pool, whereout our
ships were watered with very great ease and pleasure. Somewhat above
the town on the north side, between the two mountains, the valley
waxeth somewhat larger than at the town's end; which valley is wholly
converted into gardens and orchards, well replenished with divers
sorts of fruits, herbs, and trees, as lemons, oranges, sugar-canes,
/cocars/ or cocos nuts, plantains, potato-roots, cucumbers, small and
round onions, garlic, and some other things not now remembered.
Amongst which the cocos nuts and plantains are very pleasant fruits;
the said cocos hath a hard shell and a green husk over it as hath our
walnut, but it far exceedeth in greatness, for this cocos in his green
husk is bigger than any man's two fists. Of the hard shell many
drinking cups are made here in England, and set in silver as I have
often seen. Next within this hard shell is a white rind resembling in
show very much, even as any thing may do, to the white of an egg when
it is hard boiled. And within this white of the nut lieth a water,
which is whitish and very clear, to the quantity of half a pint or
thereabouts; which water and white rind before spoken of are both of a
very cool fresh taste, and as pleasing as anything may be. I have
heard some hold opinion that it is very restorative. The plantain
groweth in cods, somewhat like to beans, but is bigger and longer, and
much more thick together on the stalk; and when it waxeth ripe, the
meat which filleth the rind of the cod becometh yellow, and is
exceeding sweet and pleasant.

In this time of our being there happened to come a Portugal to the
western fort, with a flag of truce. To whom Captain Sampson was sent
with Captain Goring; who coming to the said messenger, he first asked
them, What nation they were? they answered Englishmen. He then
required to know if wars were between England and Spain; to which they
answered, that they knew not, but if he would go to their General he
could best resolve him of such particulars. And for his assurance of
passage and repassage these captains made offer to engage their
credits, which he refused for that he was not sent from his governor.
Then they told him if his governor did desire to take a course for the
common benefit of the people and country his best way were to come and
present himself unto our noble and merciful governor, Sir Francis
Drake, whereby he might be assured to find favour, both for himself
and the inhabitants. Otherwise within three days we should march over
the land, and consume with fire all inhabited places, and put to the
sword all such living souls as we should chance upon. So thus much he
took for the conclusion of his answer. And departing, he promised to
return the next day; but we never heard more of him.

Upon the 24th of November, the General, accompanied with the
Lieutenant-General and 600 men, marched forth to a village twelve
miles within the land, called Saint Domingo, where the governor and
the bishop, with all the better sort, were lodged; and by eight of the
clock we came to it, finding the place abandoned, and the people fled
into the mountains. So we made stand a while to ease ourselves, and
partly to see if any would come to speak to us. After we had well
rested ourselves, the General commanded the troops to march away
homewards. In which retreat the enemy shewed themselves, both horse
and foot, though not such force as durst encounter us; and so in
passing some time at the gaze with them, it waxed late and towards
night before we could recover home to Santiago.

On Monday, the 26th of November, the General commanded all the
pinnaces with the boats to use all diligence to embark the army into
such ships as every man belonged. The Lieutenant-General in like sort
commanded Captain Goring and Lieutenant Tucker, with one hundred shot,
to make a stand in the marketplace until our forces were wholly
embarked; the Vice-Admiral making stay with his pinnace and certain
boats in the harbour, to bring the said last company abroad the ships.
Also the General willed forthwith the galley with two pinnaces to take
into them the company of Captain Barton, and the company of Captain
Biggs, under the leading of Captain Sampson, to seek out such munition
as was hidden in the ground, at the town of Praya, or Playa, having
been promised to be shewed it by a prisoner which was taken the day

The captains aforesaid coming to the Playa, landed their men; and
having placed the troop in their best strength, Captain Sampson took
the prisoner, and willed him to show that he had promised. The which
he could not, or at least would not; but they searching all suspected
places, found two pieces of ordnance, one of iron, another of brass.
In the afternoon the General anchored with the rest of the fleet
before the Playa, coming himself ashore, willing us to burn the town
and make all haste aboard; the which was done by six of the clock the
same day, and ourselves embarked again the same night. And so we put
off to sea south-west.

But before our departure from the town of Santiago, we established
orders for the better government of the army. Every man mustered to
his captain, and oaths were ministered, to acknowledge her Majesty
supreme Governor, as also every man to do his utter-most endeavour to
advance the service of the action, and to yield due obedience unto the
directions of the General and his officers. By this provident counsel,
and laying down this good foundation beforehand, all things went
forward in a due course, to the achieving of our happy enterprise.

In all the time of our being here, neither the governor for the said
King of Spain, which is a Portugal, neither the bishop, whose
authority is great, neither the inhabitants of the town, or island,
ever came at us; which we expected they should have done, to entreat
us to leave them some part of their needful provisions, or at the
least to spare the ruining of their town at our going away. The cause
of this their unreasonable distrust, as I do take it, was the fresh
remembrance of the great wrongs that they had done to old Master
William Hawkins, of Plymouth, in the voyage he made four or five years
before, whenas they did both break their promise, and murdered many of
his men; whereof I judge you have understood, and therefore it is
needless to be repeated. But since they came not at us, we left
written in sundry places, as also in the Spital House (which building
was only appointed to be spared), the great discontentment and scorn
we took at this their refraining to come unto us, as also at the rude
manner of killing, and savage kind of handling the dead body of one of
our boys found by them straggling all alone, from whom they had taken
his head and heart, and had straggled the other bowels about the
place, in a most brutish and beastly manner. In revenge whereof at our
departing we consumed with fire all the houses, as well in the country
which we saw, as in the town of Santiago.

From hence putting off to the West Indies, we were not many days at
sea but there began among our people such mortality as in a few days
there were dead above two or three hundred men. And until some seven
or eight days after our coming from Santiago, there had not died any
one man of sickness in all the fleet. The sickness showed not his
infection, wherewith so many were strucken, until we were departed
thence; and then seized our people with extreme hot burning and
continual agues, whereof very few escaped with life, and yet those for
the most part not without great alteration and decay of their wits and
strength for a long time after. In some that died were plainly shown
the small spots which are often found upon those that be infected with
the plague. We were not above eighteen days in passage between the
sight of Santiago aforesaid, and the island of Dominica, being the
first island of the West Indies that we fell withal; the same being
inhabited with savage people, which go all naked, their skin coloured
with some painting of a reddish tawny, very personable and handsome
strong men, who do admit little conversation with the Spaniards; for,
as some of our people might understand them, they had a Spaniard or
twain prisoners with them. Neither do I think that there is any safety
for any of our nation, or any other, to be within the limits of their
commandment; albeit they used us very kindly for those few hours of
time which we spent with them, helping our folks to fill and carry on
their bare shoulders fresh water from the river to our ships' boats,
and fetching from their houses great store of tobacco, as also a kind
of bread which they fed on, called cassavi, very white and savoury,
made of the roots of cassavi. In recompense whereof we bestowed
liberal rewards of glass, coloured beads, and other things, which we
had found at Santiago; wherewith, as it seemed, they rested very
greatly satisfied, and shewed some sorrowful countenance when they
perceived that we would depart.

From hence we went to another island westward of it, called Saint
Christopher's Island; wherein we spent some days of Christmas, to
refresh our sick people, and to cleanse and air our ships. In which
island were not any people at all that we could hear of.

In which time by the General it was advised and resolved, with the
consent of the Lieutenant-General, the Vice-Admiral, and all the rest
of the captains, to proceed to the great island of Hispaniola, as well
for that we knew ourselves then to be in our best strength, as also
the rather allured thereunto by the glorious fame of the city of St.
Domingo, being the ancientest and chief inhabited place in all the
tract of country thereabouts. And so proceeding in this determination,
by the way we met a small frigate, bound for the same place, the which
the Vice-Admiral took; and having duly examined the men that were in
her, there was one found by whom we were advertised the haven to be a
barred haven, and the shore or land thereof to be well fortified,
having a castle thereupon furnished with great store of artillery,
without the danger whereof was no convenient landing-place within ten
English miles of the city, to which the said pilot took upon him to
conduct us.

All things being thus considered on, the whole forces were commanded
in the evening to embark themselves in pinnaces, boats, and other
small barks appointed for this service. Our soldiers being thus
embarked, the General put himself into the bark Francis as Admiral;
and all this night we lay on the sea, bearing small sail until our
arrival to the landing-place, which was about the breaking of the day.
And so we landed, being New Year's Day, nine or ten miles to the
westwards of that brave city of St. Domingo; for at that time nor yet
is known to us any landing-place, where the sea-surge doth not
threaten to overset a pinnace or boat. Our General having seen us all
landed in safety, returned to his fleet, bequeathing us to God, and
the good conduct of Master Carlile, our Lieutenant-General; at which
time, being about eight of the clock, we began to march. And about
noon-time, or towards one of the clock, we approached the town; where
the gentleman and those of the better sort, being some hundred and
fifty brave horses, or rather more, began to present themselves. But
our small shot played upon them, which were so sustained with good
proportion of pikes in all parts, as they finding no part of our troop
unprepared to receive them (for you must understand they viewed all
round about) they were thus driven to give us leave to proceed towards
the two gates of the town which were the next to the seaward. They had
manned them both, and planted their ordnance for that present and
sudden alarm without the gate, and also some troops of small shot in
/ambuscado/ upon the highway side. We divided our whole force, being
some thousand or twelve hundred men, into two parts, to enterprise
both the gates at one instant; the Lieutenant-General having openly
vowed to Captain Powell, who led the troop that entered the other
gate, that with God's good favour he would not rest until our meeting
in the market-place.

Their ordnance had no sooner discharged upon our near approach, and
made some execution amongst us, though not much, but the Lieutenant-
General began forthwith to advance both his voice of encouragement and
pace of marching; the first man that was slain with the ordnance being
very near unto himself; and thereupon hasted all that he might, to
keep them from the recharging of the ordnance. And notwithstanding
their /ambuscados/, we marched or rather ran so roundly into them, as
pell-mell we entered the gates, and gave them more care every man to
save himself by flight, than reason to stand any longer to their
broken fight. We forthwith repaired to the market-place, but to be
more truly understood, a place of very spacious square ground; whither
also came, as had been agreed, Captain Powell with the other troop.
Which place with some part next unto it, we strengthened with
/barricados/, and there as the most convenient place assured
ourselves, the city being far too spacious for so small and weary a
troop to undertake to guard. Somewhat after midnight, they who had the
guard of the castle, hearing us busy about the gates of the said
castle, abandoned the same; some being taken prisoners, and some
fleeing away by the help of boats to the other side of the haven, and
so into the country.

The next day we quartered a little more at large, but not into the
half part of the town; and so making substantial trenches, and
planting all the ordnance, that each part was correspondent to other,
we held this town the space of one month.

In the which time happened some accidents, more than are well
remembered for the present. But amongst other things, it chanced that
the General sent on his message to the Spaniards a negro boy with a
flag of white, signifying truce, as is the Spanish ordinary manner to
do there, when they approach to speak to us; which boy unhappily was
first met withal by some of those who had been belonging as officers
for the king in the Spanish galley, which with the town was lately
fallen into our hands. Who, without all order or reason, and contrary
to that good usage wherewith we had entertained their messengers,
furiously struck the poor boy through the body with one of their
horsemen's staves; with which wound the boy returned to the General,
and after he had declared the manner of this wrongful cruelty, died
forthwith in his presence. Wherewith the General being greatly
passioned, commanded the provost-marshal to cause a couple of friars,
then prisoners, to be carried to the same place where the boy was
strucken, accompanied with sufficient guard of our soldiers, and there
presently to be hanged, despatching at the same instant another poor
prisoner, with this reason wherefore this execution was done, and with
this message further, that until the party who had thus murdered the
General's messenger were delivered into our hands to receive condign
punishment, there should no day pass wherein there should not two
prisoners be hanged, until they were all consumed which were in our
hands. Whereupon the day following, he that had been captain of the
king's galley brought the offender to the town's end, offering to
deliver him into our hands. But it was thought to be a more honourable
revenge to make them there, in our sight, to perform the execution
themselves; which was done accordingly.

During our being in this town, as formerly also at Santiago there had
passed justice upon the life of one of our own company for an odious
matter, so here likewise was there an Irishman hanged for the
murdering of his corporal.

In this time also passed many treaties between their commissioners and
us, for ransom of their city; but upon disagreements we still spent
the early mornings in firing the outmost houses; but they being built
very magnificently of stone, with high lofts, gave us no small travail
to ruin them. And albeit for divers days together we ordained each
morning by daybreak, until the heat began at nine of the clock, that
two hundred mariners did naught else but labour to fire and burn the
said houses without our trenches, whilst the soldiers in a like
proportion stood forth for their guard; yet did we not, or could not
in this time consume so much as one-third part of the town, which town
is plainly described and set forth in a certain map. And so in the
end, what wearied with firing, and what hastened by some other
respects, we were contended to accept of 25,000 ducats of five
shillings six-pence the piece, for the ransom of the rest of the town.

Amongst other things which happened and were found at St. Domingo, I
may not omit to let the world know one very notable mark and token of
the unsatiable ambition of the Spanish king and his nation, which was
found in the king's house, wherein the chief governor of that city and
country is appointed always to lodge, which was this. In the coming to
the hall or other rooms of this house, you must first ascend up by a
fair large pair of stairs, at the head of which stairs is a handsome
spacious place to walk in, somewhat like unto a gallery. Wherein, upon
one of the walls, right over against you as you enter the said place,
so as your eye cannot escape the sight of it, there is described and
painted in a very large scutcheon the arms of the King of Spain; and
in the lower part of the said scutcheon there is likewise described a
globe, containing in it the whole circuit of the sea and the earth,
whereupon is a horse standing on his hinder part within the globe, and
the other forepart without the globe, lifted up as it were to leap,
with a scroll painted in his mouth, wherein was written these words in
Latin, /NON SUFFICIT ORBIS/, which is as much to say as, /The world
sufficeth not/. Whereof the meaning was required to be known of some
of those of the better sort that came in commission to treat upon the
ransom of the town; who would shake their heads and turn aside their
countenance, in some smiling sort, without answering anything, as
greatly ashamed thereof. For by some of our company it was told them,
that if the Queen of England would resolutely prosecute the wars
against the King of Spain, he should be forced to lay aside that proud
and unreasonable reaching vein of his; for he should find more than
enough to do to keep that which he had already, as by the present
example of their lost town they might for a beginning perceive well

Now to the satisfying of some men, who marvel greatly that such a
famous and goodly-builded city, so well inhabited of gallant people,
very brave in their apparel (whereof our soldiers found good store for
their relief), should afford no greater riches than was found there.
Herein it is to be understood that the Indian people, which were the
natives of this whole island of Hispaniola (the same being near hand
as great as England), were many years since clean consumed by the
tyranny of the Spaniards; which was the cause that, for lack of people
to work in the mines, the gold and silver mines of this island are
wholly given over. And thereby they are fain in this island to use
copper money, whereof was found very great quantity. The chief trade
of this place consisteth of sugar and ginger, which groweth in the
island, and of hides of oxen and kine, which in this waste country of
the island are bred in infinite numbers, the soil being very fertile.
And the said beasts are fed up to a very large growth, and so killed
for nothing so much as for their hides aforesaid. We found here great
store of strong wine, sweet oil, vinegar, olives, and other such-like
provisions, as excellent wheat-meal packed up in wine-pipes and other
cask, and other commodities likewise, as woollen and linen cloth and
some silks; all which provisions are brought out of Spain, and served
us for great relief. There was but a little plate or vessel of silver,
in comparison of the great pride in other things of this town, because
in these hot countries they use much of those earthen dishes finely
painted or varnished, which they call /porcellana/, which is had out
of the East India; and for their drinking they use glasses altogether,
whereof they make excellent good and fair in the same place. But yet
some plate we found, and many other good things, as their household
garniture, very gallant and rich, which had cost them dear, although
unto us they were of small importance.

From St. Domingo we put over to the main or firm land, and, going all
along the coast, we came at last in sight of Carthagena, standing upon
the seaside, so near as some of our barks in passing alongst
approached within the reach of their culverin shot, which they had
planted upon certain platforms. The harbour-mouth lay some three miles
toward the westward of the town, whereinto we entered at about three
or four of the clock in the afternoon without any resistance of
ordnance or other impeachment planted upon the same. In the evening we
put ourselves on land towards the harbour-mouth, under the leading of
Master Carlile, our Lieutenant-General. Who, after he had digested us
to march forward about midnight, as easily as foot might fall,
expressly commanded us to keep close by the sea-wash of the shore for
our best and surest way; whereby we were like to go through, and not
to miss any more of the way, which once we had lost within an hour
after our first beginning to march, through the slender knowledge of
him that took upon him to be our guide, whereby the night spent on,
which otherwise must have been done by resting. But as we came within
some two miles of the town, their horsemen, which were some hundred,
met us, and, taking the alarm, retired to their townward again upon
the first volley of our shot that was given them; for the place where
we encountered being woody and bushy, even to the waterside, was
unmeet for their service.

At this instant we might hear some pieces of artillery discharged,
with divers small shot, towards the harbour; which gave us to
understand, according to the order set down in the evening before by
our General, that the Vice-Admiral, accompanied with Captain Venner,
Captain White, and Captain Cross, with other sea captains, and with
divers pinnaces and boats, should give some attempt unto the little
fort standing on the entry of the inner haven, near adjoining to the
town, though to small purpose, for that the place was strong, and the
entry, very narrow, was chained over; so as there could be nothing
gotten by the attempt more than the giving of them an alarm on that
other side of the haven, being a mile and a-half from the place we now
were at. In which attempt the Vice-Admiral had the rudder of his skiff
strucken through with a saker shot, and a little or no harm received

The troops being now in their march, half-a-mile behither the town or
less, the ground we were on grew to be strait, and not above fifty
paces over, having the main sea on the one side of it and the harbour-
water or inner sea (as you may term it) on the other side, which in
the plot is plainly shewed. This strait was fortified clean over with
a stone wall and a ditch without it, the said wall being as orderly
built, with flanking in every part, as can be set down. There was only
so much of this strait unwalled as might serve for the issuing of the
horsemen or the passing of carriage in time of need. But this unwalled
part was not without a very good /barricado/ of wine-butts or pipes,
filled with earth, full and thick as they might stand on end one by
another, some part of them standing even within the main sea. This
place of strength was furnished with six great pieces, demiculverins
and sakers, which shot directly in front upon us as we approached. Now
without this wall, upon the inner side of the strait, they had brought
likewise two great galleys with their prows to the shore, having
planted in them eleven pieces of ordnance, which did beat all cross
the strait, and flanked our coming on. In these two galleys were
planted three or four hundred small shot, and on the land, in the
guard only of this place, three hundred shot and pikes.

They, in this their full readiness to receive us, spared not their
shot both great and small. But our Lieutenant-General, taking the
advantage of the dark (the daylight as yet not broken out) approached
by the lowest ground, according to the express direction which himself
had formerly given, the same being the sea-wash shore, where the water
was somewhat fallen, so as most of all their shot was in vain. Our
Lieutenant-General commanded our shot to forbear shooting until we
were come to the wall-side. And so with pikes roundly together we
approached the place, where we soon found out the /barricados/ of
pipes or butts to be the meetest place for our assault; which,
notwithstanding it was well furnished with pikes and shots, was
without staying attempted by us. Down went the butts of earth, and
pell-mell came our swords and pikes together, after our shot had first
given their volley, even at the enemy's nose. Our pikes were somewhat
longer than theirs, and our bodies better armed; for very few of them
were armed. With which advantage our swords and pikes grew too hard
for them, and they driven to give place. In this furious entry the
Lieutenant-General slew with his own hands the chief ensign-bearer of
the Spaniards, who fought very manfully to his life's end.

We followed into the town with them, and, giving them no leisure to
breathe, we won the market-place, albeit they made head and fought
awhile before we got it. And so we being once seized and assured of
that, they were content to suffer us to lodge within their town, and
themselves to go to their wives, whom they had carried into other
places of the country before our coming thither. At every street's end
they had raised very fine /barricados/ of earthworks, with trenches
without them, as well made as ever we saw any work done; at the
entering whereof was some little resistance, but soon overcome it was,
with few slain or hurt. They had joined with them many Indians, whom
they had placed in corners of advantage, all bowmen, with their arrows
most villainously empoisoned, so as if they did but break the skin,
the party so touched died without great marvel. Some they slew of our
people with their arrows; some they likewise mischiefed to death with
certain pricks of small sticks sharply pointed, of a foot and a-half
long, the one end put into the ground, the other empoisoned, sticking
fast up, right against our coming in the way as we should approach
from our landing towards the town, whereof they had planted a
wonderful number in the ordinary way; but our keeping the sea-wash
shore missed the greatest part of them very happily.

I overpass many particular matters, as the hurting of Captain Sampson
at sword blows in the first entering, unto whom was committed the
charge of the pikes of the vant-guard by his lot and turn; as also of
the taking of Alonzo Bravo, the chief commander of that place, by
Captain Goring, after the said captain had first hurt him with his
sword; unto which captain was committed the charge of the shot of the
said vant-guard. Captain Winter was likewise by his turn of the vant-
guard in this attempt, where also the Lieutenant-General marched
himself; the said Captain Winter, through a great desire to serve by
land, having now exchanged his charge at sea with Captain Cecil for
his band of footmen. Captain Powell, the Sergeant-Major, had by his
turn the charge of the four companies which made the battle. Captain
Morgan, who at St. Domingo was of the vant-guard, had now by turn his
charge upon the companies of the rearward. Every man, as well of one
part as of another, came so willingly on to the service, as the enemy
was not able to endure the fury of such hot assault.

We stayed here six weeks, and the sickness with mortality before
spoken of still continued among us, though not with the same fury as
at the first; and such as were touched with the said sickness,
escaping death, very few or almost none could recover their strength.
Yea, many of them were much decayed in their memory, insomuch that it
was grown an ordinary judgment, when one was heard to speak foolishly,
to say he had been sick of the /calentura/, which is the Spanish name
of their burning ague; for, as I told you before, it is a very burning
and pestilent ague. The original cause thereof is imputed to the
evening or first night air, which they term /la serena/; wherein they
say and hold very firm opinion that whoso is then abroad in the open
air shall certainly be infected to the death, not being of the Indian
or natural race of those country people. By holding their watch our
men were thus subjected to the infectious air, which at Santiago was
most dangerous and deadly of all other places.

With the inconvenience of continual mortality we were forced to give
over our intended enterprise to go with Nombre de Dios, and so
overland to Panama, where we should have strucken the stroke for the
treasure, and full recompense of our tedious travails. And thus at
Carthagena we took our first resolution to return homewards, the form
of which resolution I thought good here to put down under the
principal captains' hands as followeth:--

A Resolution of the Land-Captains, what course they think most
expedient to be taken. Given at Carthagena, the 27th of February,

WHEREAS it hath pleased the General to demand the opinions of his
captains what course they think most expedient to be now
undertaken, the land-captains being assembled by themselves
together, and having advised hereupon, do in three points deliver
the same.

THE FIRST, touching the keeping of the town against the force of
the enemy, either that which is present, or that which may come
out of Spain, is answered thus:--

'We hold opinion, that with this troop of men which we have
presently with us in land service, being victualled and
munitioned, we may well keep the town, albeit that of men able to
answer present service we have not above 700. The residue, being
some 150 men, by reason of their hurts and sickness, are
altogether unable to stand us in any stead: wherefore hereupon the
sea-captains are likewise to give their resolution, how they will
undertake the safety and service of the ships upon the arrival of
any Spanish fleet.'

THE SECOND point we make to be this, whether it be meet to go
presently homeward, or else to continue further trial of our
fortune in undertaking such like enterprises as we have done
already, and thereby to seek after that bountiful mass of treasure
for recompense of our travails, which was generally expected at
our coming forth of England: wherein we answer:--

'That it is well known how both we and the soldiers are entered
into this action as voluntary men, without any impress or gage
from her Majesty or anybody else. And forasmuch as we have
hitherto discharged the parts of honest men, so that now by the
great blessing and favour of our good God there have been taken
three such notable towns, wherein by the estimation of all men
would have been found some very great treasures, knowing that
Santiago was the chief city of all the islands and traffics
thereabouts, St. Domingo the chief city of Hispaniola, and the
head government not only of that island, but also of Cuba, and of
all the islands about it, as also of such inhabitations of the
firm land, as were next unto it, and a place that is both
magnificently built and entertaineth great trades of merchandise;
and now lastly the city of Carthagena, which cannot be denied to
be one of the chief places of most especial importance to the
Spaniard of all the cities which be on this side of the West
India: we do therefore consider, that since all these cities, with
their goods and prisoners taken in them, and the ransoms of the
said cities, being all put together, are found far short to
satisfy that expectation which by the generality of the
enterprisers was first conceived; and being further advised of
the slenderness of our strength, whereunto we be now reduced, as
well in respect of the small number of able bodies, as also not a
little in regard of the slack disposition of the greater part of
those which remain, very many of the better minds and men being
either consumed by death or weakened by sickness and hurts; and
lastly, since that as yet there is not laid down to our knowledge
any such enterprise as may seem convenient to be undertaken with
such few as we are presently able to make, and withal of such
certain likelihood, as with God's good success which it may please
him to bestow upon us, the same may promise to yield us any
sufficient contentment: we do therefore conclude hereupon, that it
is better to hold sure as we may the honour already gotten, and
with the same to return towards our gracious sovereign and
country, from whence, if it shall please her Majesty to set us
forth again with her orderly means and entertainment, we are most
ready and willing to go through with anything that the uttermost
of our strength and endeavour shall be able to reach unto. But
therewithal we do advise and protest that it is far from our
thoughts, either to refuse, or so much as to seem to be weary of
anything which for the present shall be further required or
directed to be done by us from our General.'

THE THIRD and last point is concerning the ransom of this city of
Carthagena, for the which, before it was touched with any fire,
there was made an offer of some 27,000 or 28,000 pounds

'Thus much we utter herein as our opinions, agreeing, so it be done
in good sort, to accept this offer aforesaid, rather than to break
off by standing still upon our demands of 100,000 pounds; which
seems a matter impossible to be performed for the present by them.
And to say truth, we may now with much honour and reputation
better be satisfied with that sum offered by them at the first, if
they will now be contented to give it, than we might at that time
with a great deal more; inasmuch as we have taken our full
pleasure, both in the uttermost sacking and spoiling of all their
household goods and merchandise, as also in that we have consumed
and ruined a great part of their town with fire. And thus much
further is considered herein by us; that as there be in the voyage
a great many poor men, who have willingly adventured their lives
and travails, and divers amongst them having spent their apparel
and such other little provisions as their small means might have
given them leave to prepare, which being done upon such good and
allowable intention as this action hath always carried with it
(meaning, against the Spaniard, our greatest and most dangerous
enemy), so surely we cannot but have an inward regard, so far as
may lie in us, to help them in all good sort towards the
satisfaction of this their expectation; and by procuring them some
little benefit to encourage them, and to nourish this ready and
willing disposition of theirs, both in them and in others by their
example, against any other time of like occasion. But because it
may be supposed that herein we forget not the private benefit of
ourselves, and are thereby the rather moved to incline ourselves
to this composition, we do therefore think good for the clearing
ourselves of all such suspicion, to declare hereby, that what part
or portion soever it be of this ransom or composition for
Carthagena which should come unto us, we do freely give and bestow
the same wholly upon the poor men who have remained with us in the
voyage (meaning as well the sailor as the soldier), wishing with
all our hearts it were such or so much as might see a sufficient
reward for their painful endeavour. And for the firm confirmation
thereof, we have thought meet to subsign these presents with our
own hands in the place and time aforesaid.

'Captain Christopher Charlie, Lieutenant-General; Captain Goring,
Captain Sampson, Captain Powell, etc.'

But while we were yet there, it happened one day that our watch called
the sentinel, upon the church-steeple, had discovered in the sea a
couple of small barks or boats, making in with the harbour of
Carthagena. Whereupon Captain Moon and Captain Varney, with John
Grant, the master of the Tiger, and some other seamen, embarked
themselves in a couple of small pinnaces, to take them before they
should come nigh the shore, at the mouth of the harbour, lest by some
straggling Spaniards from the land, they might be warned by signs from
coming in. Which fell out accordingly, notwithstanding all the
diligence that our men could use: for the Spanish boats, upon the
sight of our pinnaces coming towards them, ran themselves ashore, and
so their men presently hid themselves in bushes hard by the sea-side,
amongst some others that had called them by signs thither. Our men
presently without any due regard had to the quality of the place, and
seeing no man of the Spaniards to shew themselves, boarded the Spanish
barks or boats, and so standing all open in them, were suddenly shot
at by a troop of Spaniards out of the bushes; by which volley of shot
there were slain Captain Varney, which died presently, and Captain
Moon, who died some few days after, besides some four or five others
that were hurt: and so our folks returned without their purpose, not
having any sufficient number of soldiers with them to fight on shore.
For those men they carried were all mariners to row, few of them
armed, because they made account with their ordnance to have taken the
barks well enough at sea; which they might full easily have done,
without any loss at all, if they had come in time to the harbour
mouth, before the Spaniards' boats had gotten so near the shore.

During our abode in this place, as also at St. Domingo, there passed
divers courtesies between us and the Spaniards, as feasting, and using
them with all kindness and favour; so as amongst others there came to
see the General the governor of Carthagena, with the bishop of the
same, and divers other gentlemen of the better sort. This town of
Carthagena we touched in the out parts, and consumed much with fire,
as we had done St. Domingo, upon discontentments, and for want of
agreeing with us in their first treaties touching their ransom; which
at the last was concluded between us should be 110,000 ducats for that
which was yet standing, the ducat valued at five shillings sixpence

This town, though not half so big as St. Domingo, gives, as you see, a
far greater ransom, being in very deed of far more importance, by
reason of the excellency of the harbour, and the situation thereof to
serve the trade of Nombre de Dios and other places, and is inhabited
with far more richer merchants. The other is chiefly inhabited with
lawyers and brave gentlemen, being the chief or highest appeal of
their suits in law of all the islands about it and of the mainland
coast next unto it. And it is of no such account as Carthagena, for
these and some like reasons which I could give you, over long to be
now written.

The warning which this town received of our coming towards them from
St. Domingo, by the space of 20 days before our arrival here, was
cause that they had both fortified and every way prepared for their
best defence. As also that they had carried and conveyed away all
their treasure and principal substance.

The ransom of 110,000 ducats thus concluded on, as is aforesaid, the
same being written, and expressing for nothing more than the town of
Carthagena, upon the payment of the said ransom we left the said town
and drew some part of our soldiers into the priory or abbey, standing
a quarter of an English mile below the town upon the harbour water-
side, the same being walled with a wall of stone; which we told the
Spaniards was yet ours, and not redeemed by their composition.
Whereupon they, finding the defect of their contract, were contented
to enter into another ransom for all places, but specially for the
said house, as also the blockhouse or castle, which is upon the mouth
of the inner harbour. And when we asked as much for the one as for the
other, they yielded to give a thousand crowns for the abbey, leaving
us to take our pleasure upon the blockhouse, which they said they were
not able to ransom, having stretched themselves to the uttermost of
their powers; and therefore the said blockhouse was by us undermined,
and so with gunpowder blown up in pieces. While this latter contract
was in making, our whole fleet of ships fell down towards the harbour-
mouth, where they anchored the third time and employed their men in
fetching of fresh water aboard the ships for our voyage homewards,
which water was had in a great well that is in the island by the
harbour-mouth. Which island is a very pleasant place as hath been
seen, having in it many sorts of goodly and very pleasant fruits, as
the orange-trees and others, being set orderly in walks of great
length together. Insomuch as the whole island, being some two or three
miles about, is cast into grounds of gardening and orchards.

After six weeks' abode in this place, we put to sea the last of March;
where, after two or three days, a great Ship which we had taken at St.
Domingo, and thereupon was called The New Year's Gift, fell into a
great leak, being laden with ordnance, hides, and other spoils, and in
the night she lost the company of our fleet. Which being missed the
next morning by the General, he cast about with the whole fleet,
fearing some great mischance to be happened unto her, as in very deed
it so fell out; for her leak was so great that her men were all tired
with pumping. But at the last, having found her, and the bark Talbot
in her company, which stayed by great hap with her, they were ready to
take their men out of her for the saving of them. And so the General,
being fully advertised of their great extremity, made sail directly
back again to Carthagena with the whole fleet; where, having staid
eight or ten days more about the unlading of this ship and the
bestowing thereof and her men into other ships, we departed once again
to sea, directing our course toward the Cape St. Anthony, being the
westermost part of Cuba, where we arrived the 27th of April. But
because fresh water could not presently be found, we weighed anchor
and departed, thinking in few days to recover the Matanzas, a place to
the eastward of Havana.

After we had sailed some fourteen days we were brought to Cape St.
Anthony again through lack of favourable wind; but then our scarcity
was grown such as need make us look a little better for water, which
we found in sufficient quantity, being indeed, as I judge, none other
than rain-water newly fallen and gathered up by making pits in a plot
of marish ground some three hundred paces from the seaside.

I do wrong if I should forget the good example of the General at this
place, who, to encourage others, and to hasten the getting of fresh
water aboard the ships, took no less pain himself than the meanest; as
also at St. Domingo, Carthagena, and all other places, having always
so vigilant a care and foresight in the good ordering of his fleet,
accompanying them, as it is said, with such wonderful travail of body,
as doubtless had he been the meanest person, as he was the chiefest,
he had yet deserved the first place of honour; and no less happy do we
account him for being associated with Master Carlile, his Lieutenant-
General, by whose experience, prudent counsel, and gallant performance
he achieved so many and happy enterprises of the war, by whom also he
was very greatly assisted in setting down the needful orders, laws,
and course of justice, and the due administration of the same upon all

After three days spent in watering our ships, we departed now the
second time from this Cape of St. Anthony the 13th of May. And
proceeding about the Cape of Florida, we never touched anywhere; but
coasting alongst Florida, and keeping the shore still in sight, the
28th of May, early in the morning, we descried on the shore a place
built like a beacon, which was indeed a scaffold upon four long masts
raised on end for men to discover to the seaward, being in the
latitude of thirty degrees, or very near thereunto. Our pinnaces
manned and coming to the shore, we marched up alongst the river-side
to see what place the enemy held there; for none amongst us had any
knowledge thereof at all.

Here the General took occasion to march with the companies himself in
person, the Lieutenant-General having the vant-guard; and, going a
mile up, or somewhat more, by the river-side, we might discern on the
other side of the river over against us a fort which newly had been
built by the Spaniards; and some mile, or thereabout, above the fort
was a little town or village without walls, built of wooden houses, as
the plot doth plainly shew. We forthwith prepared to have ordnance for
the battery; and one piece was a little before the evening planted,
and the first shot being made by the Lieutenant-General himself at
their ensign, strake through the ensign, as we afterwards understood
by a Frenchman which came unto us from them. One shot more was then
made, which struck the foot of the fort wall, which was all massive
timber of great trees like masts. The Lieutenant-General was
determined to pass the river this night with four companies, and there
to lodge himself entrenched as near the fort as that he might play
with his muskets and smallest shot upon any that should appear, and so
afterwards to bring and plant the battery with him; but the help of
mariners for that sudden to make trenches could not be had, which was
the cause that this determination was remitted until the next night.

In the night the Lieutenant-General took a little rowing skiff and
half a dozen well armed, as Captain Morgan and Captain Sampson, with
some others, beside the rowers, and went to view what guard the enemy
kept, as also to take knowledge of the ground. And albeit he went as
covertly as might be, yet the enemy, taking the alarm, grew fearful
that the whole force was approaching to the assault, and therefore
with all speed abandoned the place after the shooting of some of their
pieces. They thus gone, and he being returned unto us again, but
nothing knowing of their flight from their fort, forthwith came a
Frenchman, [Nicolas Borgoignon] being a fifer (who had been prisoner
with them) in a little boat, playing on his fife the tune of the
Prince of Orange his song. And being called unto by the guard, he told
them before he put foot out of the boat what he was himself, and how
the Spaniards were gone from the fort; offering either to remain in
hands there, or else to return to the place with them that would go.
[The 'Prince of Orange's Song' was a popular ditty in praise of
William Prince of Orange (assassinated 1584), the leader of the Dutch
Protestant insurgents.]

Upon this intelligence the General, the Lieutenant-General, with some
of the captains in one skiff and the Vice-Admiral with some others in
his skiff, and two or three pinnaces furnished of soldiers with them,
put presently over towards the fort, giving order for the rest of the
pinnaces to follow. And in our approach some of the enemy, bolder than
the rest, having stayed behind their company, shot off two pieces of
ordnance at us; but on shore we went, and entered the place without
finding any man there.

When the day appeared, we found it built all of timber, the walls
being none other than whole masts or bodies of trees set upright and
close together in manner of a pale, without any ditch as yet made, but
wholly intended with some more time. For they had not as yet finished
all their work, having begun the same some three or four months
before; so as, to say the truth, they had no reason to keep it, being
subject both to fire and easy assault.

The platform whereon the ordnance lay was whole bodies of long pine-
trees, whereof there is great plenty, laid across one on another and
some little earth amongst. There were in it thirteen or fourteen great
pieces of brass ordnance and a chest unbroken up, having in it the
value of some two thousand pounds sterling, by estimation, of the
king's treasure, to pay the soldiers of that place, who were a hundred
and fifty men.

The fort thus won, which they called St. John's Fort, and the day
opened, we assayed to go to the town, but could not by reason of some
rivers and broken ground which was between the two places. And
therefore being enforced to embark again into our pinnaces, we went
thither upon the great main river, which is called, as also the town,
by the name of St. Augustine. At our approaching to land, there were
some that began to shew themselves, and to bestow some few shot upon
us, but presently withdrew themselves. And in their running thus away,
the Sergeant-Major finding one of their horses ready saddled and
bridled, took the same to follow the chase; and so overgoing all his
company, was by one laid behind a bush shot through the head; and
falling down therewith, was by the same and two or three more, stabbed
in three or four places of his body with swords and daggers, before
any could come near to his rescue. His death was much lamented, being
in very deed an honest wise gentleman, and soldier of good experience,
and of as great courage as any man might be.

In this place called St. Augustine we understood the king did keep, as
is before said, 150 soldiers, and at another place some dozen leagues
beyond to the northwards, called St. Helena, he did there likewise
keep 150 more, serving there for no other purpose than to keep all
other nations from inhabiting any part of all that coast; the
government whereof was committed to one Pedro Melendez, marquis,
nephew to that Melendez the Admiral, who had overthrown Master John
Hawkins in the Bay of Mexico some 17 or 18 years ago. This governor
had charge of both places, but was at this time in this place, and one
of the first that left the same.

Here it was resolved in full assembly of captains, to undertake the
enterprise of St. Helena, and from thence to seek out the inhabitation
of our English countrymen in Virginia, distant from thence some six
degrees northward. When we came thwart of St. Helena, the shoals
appearing dangerous, and we having no pilot to undertake the entry, it
was thought meetest to go hence alongst. For the Admiral had been the
same night in four fathom and a half, three leagues from the shore;
and yet we understood, by the help of a known pilot, there may and do
go in ships of greater burden and draught than any we had in our
fleet. We passed thus along the coast hard aboard the shore, which is
shallow for a league or two from the shore, and the same is low and
broken land for the most part. The ninth of June upon sight of one
special great fire (which are very ordinary all alongst this coast,
even from the Cape of Florida hither) the General sent his skiff to
the shore, where they found some of our English countrymen that had
been sent thither the year before by Sir Walter Raleigh, and brought
them aboard; by whose direction we proceeded along to the place which
they make their port. But some of our ships being of great draught,
unable to enter, anchored without the harbour in a wild road at sea,
about two miles from shore. From whence the General wrote letters to
Master Ralph Lane, being governor of those English in Virginia, and
then at his fort about six leagues from the road in an island which
they called Roanoac; wherein especially he shewed how ready he was to
supply his necessities and wants, which he understood of by those he
had first talked withal.

The morrow after, Master Lane himself and some of his company coming
unto him, with the consent of his captains he gave them the choice of
two offers, that is to say: either he would leave a ship, a pinnace,
and certain boats with sufficient masters and mariners, together
furnished with a month's victual, to stay and make further discovery
of the country and coasts, and so much victual likewise as might be
sufficient for the bringing of them all (being an hundred and three
persons) into England, if they thought good after such time, with any
other thing they would desire, and that he might be able to spare: or
else, if they thought they had made sufficient discovery already, and
did desire to return into England, he would give them passage. But
they, as it seemed, being desirous to stay, accepted very thankfully
and with great gladness that which was offered first. Whereupon the
ship being appointed and received into charge by some of their own
company sent into her by Master Lane, before they had received from
the rest of the fleet the provision appointed them, there arose a
great storm (which they said was extraordinary and very strange) that
lasted three days together, and put all our fleet in great danger to
be driven from their anchoring upon the coast; for we brake many
cables, and lost many anchors; and some of our fleet which had lost
all, of which number was the ship appointed for Master Lane and his
company, were driven to put to sea in great danger, in avoiding the
coast, and could never see us again until we met in England. Many also
of our small pinnaces and boats were lost in this storm.

Notwithstanding, after all this, the General offered them, with
consent of his captains, another ship with some provisions, although
not such a one for their turns as might have been spared them before,
this being unable to be brought into their harbour: or else, if they
would, to give them passage into England, although he knew he should
perform it with greater difficulty than he might have done before. But
Master Lane, with those of the chiefest of his company which he had
then with him, considering what should be best for them to do, made
request unto the General under their hands, that they might have
passage for England: the which being granted, and the rest sent for
out of the country and shipped, we departed from that coast the 18th
of June. And so, God be thanked, both they and we in good safety
arrived at Portsmouth the 28th of July, 1586, to the great glory of
God, and to no small honour to our Prince, our country, and ourselves.
The total value of that which was got in this voyage is esteemed at
three score thousand pounds, whereof the companies which have
travailed in the voyage were to have twenty thousand pounds, the
adventurers the other forty. Of which twenty thousand pounds (as I can
judge) will redound some six pounds to the single share. We lost some
750 men in the voyage; above three parts of them only by sickness. The
men of name that died and were slain in this voyage, which I can
presently call to remembrance, are these:--Captain Powell, Captain
Varney, Captain Moon, Captain Fortescue, Captain Biggs, Captain Cecil,
Captain Hannam, Captain Greenfield; Thomas Tucker, a lieutenant;
Alexander Starkey, a lieutenant; Master Escot, a lieutenant; Master
Waterhouse, a lieutenant; Master George Candish, Master Nicholas
Winter, Master Alexander Carlile, Master Robert Alexander, Master
Scroope, Master James Dyer, Master Peter Duke. With some other, whom
for haste I cannot suddenly think on.

The ordnance gotten of all sorts, brass and iron, were about two
hundred and forty pieces, whereof the two hundred and some more were
brass, and were thus found and gotten:--At Santiago some two or three
and fifty pieces. In St. Domingo about four score, whereof was very
much great ordnance, as whole cannon, demi-cannon, culverins, and such
like. In Carthagena some sixty and three pieces, and good store
likewise of the greater sort. In the Fort of St. Augustine were
fourteen pieces. The rest was iron ordnance, of which the most part
was gotten at St. Domingo, the rest at Carthagena.


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