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The Spanish Armada








Philip, king of Spain, husband to the deceased queen Mary of England,
was no less an enemy than that princess to the protestants. He had
always disliked the English, and after her death, determined, if
possible, to crown that infamous cruelty which had disgraced the whole
progress of her reign, by making a conquest of the island, and putting
every protestant to death.

The great warlike preparations made by this monarch, though the purpose
was unknown, gave a universal alarm to the English nation; as, though he
had not declared that intention, yet it appeared evident that he was
taking measures to seize the crown of England. Pope Sixtus V. not less
ambitious than himself, and equally desirous of persecuting the
protestants, urged him to the enterprise. He excommunicated the queen,
and published a crusade against her, with the usual indulgences. All the
ports of Spain resounded with preparations for this alarming expedition;
and the Spaniards seemed to threaten the English with a total
annihilation.

Three whole years had been spent by Philip in making the necessary
preparations for this mighty undertaking; and his fleet, which on
account of its prodigious strength, was called the "Invincible Armada,"
was now completed. A consecrated banner was procured from the pope, and
the gold of Peru was lavished on the occasion.

The duke of Parma, by command of the Spaniards, built ships in Flanders,
and a great company of small broad vessels, each one able to transport
thirty horses, with bridges fitted for them severally; and hired
mariners from the east part of Germany, and provided long pieces of wood
sharpened at the end, and covered with iron, with hooks on one side; and
20,000 vessels, with a huge number of fagots; and placed an army ready
in Flanders, of 103 companies of foot and 4000 horsemen. Among these 700
English vagabonds, who were held of all others in most contempt. Neither
was Stanley respected or obeyed who was set over the English; nor
Westmoreland, nor any other who offered their help, but for their
unfaithfulness to their own country were shut out from all
consultations, and as men unanimously rejected with detestation. And
because Pope Sixtus the Fifth in such a case would not be wanting, he
sent Cardinal Allen into Flanders, and renewed the bulls declaratory of
Pope Pius the Fifth, and Gregory the Thirteenth.

He excommunicated and deposed queen Elizabeth, absolved her subjects
from all allegiance, and, as if it had been against the Turks or
infidels, he set forth in print a conceit, wherein he bestowed plenary
indulgences, out of the treasure of the church, besides a million of
gold, or ten hundred thousand ducats, to be distributed (the one half in
hand, the rest when either England, or some famous haven therein, should
be won) upon all them that would join their help against England. By
which means the Marquis of Bergau, of the house of Austria, the duke of
Pastrana, Amadis, duke of Savoy, Vespasian, Gonzaga, John Medicis, and
divers other noblemen, were drawn into these wars.

Queen Elizabeth, that she might not be surprised unawares, prepared as
great a navy as she could, and with singular care and providence, made
all things ready necessary for war. And she herself, who was ever most
judicious in discerning of men's wits and aptness, and most happy in
making choice, when she made it out of her own judgment, and not at the
discretion of others, designed the best and most serviceable to each
several employment. Over the whole navy she appointed the Lord Admiral
Charles Howard, in whom she reposed much trust; and sent him to the west
part of England, where Captain Drake, whom she made vice-admiral, joined
with him. She commanded Henry Seimor, the second son to the duke of
Somerset, to watch upon the Belgic shore, with forty English and Dutch
ships, that the duke of Parma might not come out with his forces;
although some were of opinion, that the enemy was to be expected and set
upon by land forces, accordingly as it was upon deliberation resolved,
in the time of Henry the Eighth, when the French brought a great navy on
the English shore.

For the land fight, there were placed on the south shore twenty
thousand; and two armies beside were mustered of the choicest men for
war. The one of these, which consisted of 1000 horse and twenty two
thousand foot was commanded by the earl of Leicester, and encamped at
Tilbury, on the side of the Thames. For the enemy was resolved first to
set upon London. The other army was commanded by the Lord Hunsdon,
consisting of thirty-four thousand foot, and two thousand horse, to
guard the queen.

The Lord Gray, Sir Francis Knowles, Sir John Norris, Sir Richard
Bingham, Sir Roger Williams, men famously known for military experience,
were chosen to confer of the land-fight. These commanders thought fit
that all those places should be fortified, with men and ammunition,
which were commodious to land in, either out of Spain or out of
Flanders, as Milford-Haven, Falmouth, Plymouth, Portland, the Isle of
Wight, Portsmouth, the open side of Kent, called the Downs, the Thames'
mouth, Harwich, Yarmouth, Hull, &c. That trained soldiers through all
the maratime provinces should meet upon warning given, to defend the
places; that they should by their best means, hinder the enemy from
landing; and if they did happen to land, then they were to destroy the
fruits of the country all about, and spoil every thing that might be of
any use to the enemy, that so they might find no more victuals than what
they brought with them. And that, by continued alarms, the enemy should
find no rest day or night. But they should not try any battle until
divers captains were met together with their companies. That one captain
might be named in every shire which might command.

Two years before, the duke of Parma, considering how hard a matter it
was to end the Belgic war, so long as it was continually nourished and
supported with aid from the queen, he moved for a treaty of peace, by
the means of Sir James Croft, one of the privy council, a man desirous
of peace, and Andrew Loe, a Dutchman, and professed that the Spaniard
had delegated authority to him for this purpose. But the queen fearing
that the friendship between her and the confederate princes might be
dissolved, and that so they might secretly be drawn to the Spaniard, she
deferred that treaty for some time. But now, that the wars on both sides
prepared might be turned away, she was content to treat for peace; but
so as still holding the weapons in her hand.

For this purpose, in February, delegates were sent into Flanders, the
earl of Derby, the lord Cobham, Sir James Croft, Dr. Dale, and Dr.
Rogers. These were received with all humanity on the duke's behalf, and
a place appointed for their treating, that they might see the authority
delegated to him by the Spanish king. He appointed the place near to
Ostend, not in Ostend, which at that time was held by the English
against the Spanish king. His authority delegated, he promised them to
show, when they were once met together. He wished them to make good
speed in the business, lest somewhat might fall out in the mean time,
which might trouble the motions of peace. Richardotus, spoke somewhat
more plainly, That he knew not what in this interim should be done
against England.

Not long after, Dr. Rogers was sent to the prince, by an express
commandment from the queen, to know the truth, whether the Spaniards had
resolved to invade England, which he and Richardotus seemed to signify.
He affirmed, that he did not so much as think of the invasion of
England, when he wished that the business might proceed with speed; and
was in a manner offended with Richardotus, who denied that such words
fell from him.

The 12th of April, the count Aremberg, Champigny, Richardotus, Doctor
Maesius, and Garnier, delegated from the prince of Parma, met with the
English, and yielded to them the honour both in walking and sitting.

This conference, however, came to nothing; undertaken by, the queen, as
the wiser then thought, to avert the Spanish fleet; continued by the
Spaniard that he might oppress the queen, being as he supposed
unprovided, and not expecting the danger. So both of them tried to use
time to their best advantages.

At length the Spanish fleet, well furnished with men, ammunition,
engines, and all warlike preparations, the best, indeed, that ever was
seen upon the ocean, called by the arrogant title, The Invincible
Armada, consisted of 130 ships, wherein there were in all, 19,290.
Mariners, 8,350. Chained rowers, 11,080. Great ordnance, 11,630. The
chief commander was Perezius Guzmannus, duke of Medina Sidonia; and
under him Joannes Martinus Ricaldus, a man of great experience in sea
affairs.

The 30th of May they loosed out of the river Tagus, and bending their
course to the Groin, in Gallicia, they were beaten and scattered by a
tempest, three galleys, by the help of David Gwin, an English servant,
and by the perfidiousness of the Turks which rowed, were carried away
into France. The fleet, with much ado, after some days came to the
Groin, and other harbours near adjoining. The report was, that the fleet
was so shaken by this tempest, that the queen was persuaded, that she
was not to expect that fleet this year. And Sir Francis Walsingham,
sec'y, wrote to the lord admiral, that he might send back four of the
greatest ships, as if the war had been ended. But the lord admiral did
not easily give credit to that report; yet with a gentle answer
entreated him to believe nothing hastily in so important a matter: as
also that he might be permitted to keep those ships with him which he
had, though it were upon his own charges. And getting a favourable wind,
made sail towards Spain, to surprise the enemy's damaged ships in their
harbours. When he was close in with the coast of Spain, the wind
shifting, and he being charged to defend the English shore, fearing that
the enemy might unseen, by the same wind, sail for England, he returned
unto Plymouth.

Now with the same wind, the 12th of July, the duke of Medina with his
fleet departed from the Groin. And after a few days he sent Rodericus
Telius into Flanders, to advertise the duke of Parma, giving him warning
that the fleet was approaching, and therefore he was to make himself
ready. For Medina's commission was to join himself with the ships and
soldiers of Parma; and under the protection of his fleet to bring them
into England, and to land his forces upon the Thames side.

The sixteenth, day, (saith the relator,) there was a great calm, and a
thick cloud was upon the sea till noon; then the north wind blowing
roughly; and again the west wind till midnight, and after that the east;
the Spanish navy was scattered, and hardly gathered together until they
came within sight of England the nineteenth day of July. Upon which day,
the lord admiral was certified by Fleming, (who had been a pirate) that
the Spanish fleet was entered into the English sea, which the mariners
call the Channel, and was descried near to the Lizard. The lord admiral
brought forth the English fleet into the sea, but not without great
difficulty, by the skill, labour, and alacrity of the soldiers and
mariners, every one labouring; yea, the lord admiral himself putting his
hand to this work.

The next day the English fleet viewed the Spanish fleet coming along
like the towering castles in height, her front crooked like the fashion
of the moon, the wings of the fleet were extended one from the other
about seven miles, or as some say eight miles asunder, sailing with the
labour of the winds, the ocean as it were groaning under it, their sail
was but slow, and yet at full sail before the wind. The English were
willing to let them hold on their course, and when they were passed by,
got behind them, and so got to windward of them.

Upon the 21st of July, the lord admiral of England sent a cutter before,
called the Defiance, to denounce the battle by firing off pieces. And
being himself in the Royal-Arch, (the English admiral ship) he began the
engagement with a ship which he took to be the Spanish admiral, but
which was the ship of Alfonsus Leva. Upon that he expended much shot.
Presently Drake, Hawkins, and Forbisher, came in upon the rear of the
Spaniards which Ricaldus commanded.--Upon these they thundered. Ricaldus
endeavoured, as much as in him lay, to keep his men to their quarters,
but all in vain, until his ship, much beaten and battered with many
shot, hardly recovered the fleet. Then the duke of Medina gathered
together his scattered fleet, and setting more sail, held on his course.
Indeed they could do no other, for the English had gotten the advantage
of the wind, and their ships being much easier managed, and ready with
incredible celerity to come upon the enemy with a full course, and then
to tack and retack and be on every side at their pleasure. After a long
fight, and each of them had taken a trial of their courage, the lord
admiral thought proper to continue the fight no longer, because there
were forty ships more, which were then absent, and at that very time
were coming out of Plymouth Sound.

The night following, the St. Catharine, a Spanish ship, being sadly torn
in the battle, was taken into the midst of the fleet to be repaired.
Here a great Cantabrian ship, of Oquenda, wherein was the treasurer of
the camp, by force of gunpowder took fire, yet it was quenched in time
by the ships that came to help her. Of those which came to assist the
fired ship, one was a galleon, commanded by one Petrus Waldez; the
fore-yard of the galleon was caught in the rigging of another ship, and
carried away. This was taken by Drake, who sent Waldez to Dartmouth, and
a great sum of money, viz. 55,000 ducats, which he distributed among the
soldiers. This Waldez coming into Drake's presence, kissed his hand, and
told him they had all resolved to die, if they had not been so happy as
to fall into his hands whom they knew to be noble. That night he was
appointed to set forth a light, but neglected it; and some German
merchant ships coming by that night, he, thinking them to be enemies,
followed them so far, that the English fleet lay to all night, because
they could see no light set forth. Neither did he nor the rest of the
fleet find the admiral until the next evening. The admiral all the
night proceeding with the Bear and the Mary Rose, carefully followed the
Spaniards with watchfulness. The duke was busied in ordering his
squadron. Alfonsus Leva was commanded to join the first and last
divisions. Every ship had its proper station assigned, according to that
prescribed form which was appointed in Spain; it was present death to
any one who forsook his station. This done, he sent Gliclius and Anceani
to Parma, which might declare to them in what situation they were, and
left that Cantabrian ship, of Oquenda, to the wind and sea, having taken
out the money and mariners, and put them on board of other ships. Yet it
seemed that he had not care for all; for that ship the same day, with
fifty mariners and soldiers wounded and half-burned, fell into the hands
of the English, and was carried to Weymouth.

The 23d of the same month, the Spaniards having a favourable north wind,
tacked towards the English; but they being more expert in the management
of their ships, tacked likewise, and kept the advantage they had gained,
keeping the Spaniards to leeward, till at last the fight became general
on both sides. They fought awhile confusedly with variable success:
whilst on the one side the English with great courage delivered the
London ships which were enclosed about by the Spaniards; and on the
other side, the Spaniards by valour freed Ricaldus from the extreme
danger he was in; great and many were the explosions, which, by the
continued firing of great guns, were heard this day. But the loss (by
the good providence of God,) fell upon the Spaniards, their ships being
so high, that the shot went over our English ships, and the English,
having such a fair mark at their large ships, never shot in vain. During
this engagement, Cock, an Englishman, being surrounded by the Spanish
ships, could not be recovered, but perished; however, with great honour
he revenged himself. Thus a long time the English ships with great
agility were sometimes upon the Spaniards, giving them the fire of one
side, and then of the other, and presently were off again, and still
kept the sea, to make themselves ready to come in again. Whereas the
Spanish ships, being of great burden, were troubled and hindered, and
stood to be the marks for the English shot. For all that the English
admiral would not permit his people to board their ships, because they
had such a number of soldiers on board, which he had not; their ships
were many in number, and greater, and higher, that if they had come to
grapple, as many would have had it, the English being much lower than
the Spanish ships, must needs have had the worst of them that fought
from the higher ships. And if the English had been overcome, the loss
would have been greater than the victory could have been; for our being
overcome would have put the kingdom in hazard.

The 24th day of July they gave over fighting on both sides. The admiral
sent some small barks to the English shore for a supply of provisions,
and divided his whole fleet into four squadrons; the first whereof he
took under his own command, the next was commanded by Drake, the third
by Hawkins, and the last by Forbisher. And he appointed out of every
squadron certain little ships, which, on divers sides might set upon the
Spaniards in the night, but a sudden calm took them so that expedition
was without effect.

The 25th, the St. Anne, a galleon of Portugal, not being able to keep up
with the rest, was attacked by some small English ships. To whose aid
came in Leva, and Didacus Telles Enriques, with three galeasses; which
the admiral, and the Lord Thomas Howard, espying, made all the sail they
could against the galeasses, but the calm continuing, they were obliged
to be towed along with their boats; as soon as they reached the
galeasses, they began to play away so fiercely with their great guns,
that with much danger, and great loss, they hardly recovered their
galleon. The Spaniards reported that the Spanish admiral was that day in
the rear of their fleet, which, being come nearer to the English ships
than before, got terribly shattered with their great guns, many men were
killed aboard, and her masts laid over the side. The Spanish admiral,
after this, in company with Ricaldus, and others, attacked the English
admiral, who, having the advantage of the wind, suddenly tacked and
escaped. The Spaniards holding on their course again, sent to the duke
of Parma, that with all possible speed he should join his ships with the
king's fleet. These things the English knew not, who write that they had
carried away the lantern from one of the Spanish ships, the stern from
another, and sore mauled the third very much disabling her. The
Non-Parigly, and the Mary Rose, fought awhile with the Spaniards, and
the Triumph being in danger, other ships came in good time to help her.

The next day the lord admiral knighted the Lord Thomas Howard, the Lord
Sheffield, Roger Townsend, John Hawkins, and Martin Forbisher, for their
valour in the last engagement. After this, they agreed not to attack the
enemy until they came into the straits of Calais, where Henry Seimor,
and William Winter, waited for their coming. Thus with a fair gale the
Spanish fleet went forward, and the English followed. This great Spanish
Armada was so far from being esteemed invincible in the opinion of the
English, that many young men and gentlemen, in hope to be partakers of a
famous victory against the Spaniards, provided ships at their own
expense, and joined themselves to the English fleet; among whom were the
earls of Essex, Northumberland, and Cumberland, Thomas and Robert Cecil,
Henry Brooks, William Hatton, Robert Cary, Ambrose Willoughby, Thomas
Gerard, Arthur George, and other gentlemen of good note and quality.

The 27th day, at even, the Spaniards cast anchor near to Calais, being
admonished by their skilful seamen, that if they went any further they
might be in danger, through the force of the tide, to be driven into the
North Ocean. Near to them lay the English admiral with his fleet, within
a great gun's shot. The admiral, Seimor and Winter, now join their
ships; so that now there were a hundred and forty ships in the English
fleet, able, and well furnished for fighting, for sailing, and every
thing else which was requisite; and yet there were but fifteen of these
which bore the heat of the battle, and repulsed the enemy. The Spaniard,
as often as he had done before, so now with great earnestness sent to
the duke of Parma, to send forty fly-boats, without which they could not
fight with the English, because of the greatness and slowness of their
ships, and the agility of the English, entreating him by all means now
to come to sea with his army, which army was now to be protected as it
were, under the wings of the Spanish Armada, until they should land in
England.

But the duke was unprovided, and could not come out in an instant. The
broad ships with flat bottoms being then full of chinks must be mended.
Victuals wanted, and must be provided. The mariners being long kept
against their wills, began to shrink away. The ports of Dunkirk and
Newport, by which he must bring his army to the sea, were now so beset
with the strong ships of Holland and Zealand, which were furnished with
great and small munition, that he was not able to come to sea, unless he
would come upon his own apparent destruction, and cast himself and his
men wilfully into a headlong danger. Yet he omitted nothing that might
be done, being a man eager and industrious, and inflamed with a desire
of overcoming England.

But queen Elizabeth's providence and care prevented both the diligence
of this man, and the credulous hope of the Spaniard; for by her command
the next day the admiral took eight of their worst ships, charging the
ordnance therein up to the mouth with small shot, nails, and stones, and
dressed them with wild fire, pitch, and rosin, and filling them full of
brimstone, and some other matter fit for fire, and these being set on
fire by the management of Young and Prowse, were secretly in the night,
by the help of the wind, set full upon the Spanish fleet, which, on
Sunday, the seventh of August, they sent in among them as they lay at
anchor.

When the Spanish saw them come near, the flames giving light all over
the sea, they supposing those ships, besides the danger of fire, to have
been also furnished with deadly engines, to make horrible destruction
among them; lifting up a most hideous cry, some pull up anchors, some
for haste cut their cables, they set up their sails, they apply their
oars, and stricken with extreme terror, in great haste they fled most
confusedly. Among them the Pretorian Galleass floating upon the seas,
her rudder being broken, in great danger and fear drew towards Calais,
and striking in the sand, was taken by Amias Preston, Thomas Gerard, and
Harvey; Hugh Moncada the governor was slain, the soldiers and mariners
were either killed or drowned; in her there was found great store of
gold, which fell to be the prey of the English. The ship and ordnance
went to the governor of Calais.

The Spaniards report, that the duke, when he saw the fire ships coming,
commanded all the fleet to heave up their anchors, but so as the danger
being past, every ship might return again to his own station; and he
himself returned, giving a sign to the rest by shooting off a gun; which
was heard but by a few, for they were far off scattered some into the
open ocean, some through fear were driven upon the shallows of the coast
of Flanders.

Over against Gravelling the Spanish fleet began to gather themselves
together. But upon them came Drake and Fenner, and battered them with
great ordnance: to these Fenton, Southwel, Beeston, Cross, Riman, and
presently after the lord admiral, and Sheffield, came in. The Duke
Medina, Leva, Oquenda, Ricaldus, and others, with much ado in getting
themselves out of the shallows, sustained the English ships as well as
they might, until most of their ships were pierced and torn; the galleon
St. Matthew, governed by Diego Pimentellas, coming to aid Francis
Toleton, being in the St. Philip, was pierced and shaken with the
reiterated shots of Seimor and Winter, and driven to Ostend, and was at
last taken by the Flushingers. The St. Philip came to the like end; so
did the galleon of Biscay, and divers others.

The last day of this month, the Spanish fleet striving to recover the
straits again, were driven towards Zealand. The English left off
pursuing them, as the Spaniards thought, because they saw them in a
manner cast away; for they could not avoid the shallows of Zealand. But
the wind turning, they got them out of the shallows, and then began to
consult what were best for them to do. By common consent they resolved
to return into Spain by the Northern Seas, for they wanted many
necessaries, especially shot; their ships were torn, and they had no
hope that the duke of Parma could bring forth his forces. And so they
took the sea, and followed the course toward the north. The English navy
followed, and sometimes the Spanish turned upon the English, insomuch
that it was thought by many that they would turn back again.

Queen Elizabeth caused an army to encamp at Tilbury. After the army had
come thither, her majesty went in person to visit the camp, which then
lay between the city of London and the sea, under the charge of the earl
of Leicester, where placing herself between the enemy and her city, she
viewed her army, passing through it divers times, and lodging in the
borders of it, returned again and dined in the army. Afterwards when
they were all reduced into battle, prepared as it were for fight, she
rode round about with a leader's staff in her hand, only accompanied
with the general, and three or four others attending upon her.[A]

I could enlarge the description hereof with many more particulars of
mine own observation, (says the author,) for I wandered, as many others
did, from place to place, all the day, and never heard a word spoke of
her, but in praising her for her stately person and princely behaviour,
in praying for her long life, and earnestly desiring to venture their
lives for her safety. In her presence they sung psalms of praise to
Almighty God, for which she greatly commended them, and devoutly praised
God with them. This that I write, you may be sure I do not with any
comfort, but to give you these manifest arguments that neither this
queen did discontent her people, nor her people show any discontent in
any thing they were commanded to do for her service, as heretofore hath
been imagined.

This account was related by a popish spy, in a letter written here in
England to Mendea. The copy of which letter was found upon Richard
Leigh, a seminary priest in French and English: which priest was
executed for high treason while the Spanish Armada was at sea.

The same day whereon the last fight was, the duke of Parma, after his
vows offered to the lady of Halla, came somewhat late to Dunkirk, and
was received with very opprobrious language by the Spaniards, as if in
favour of queen Elizabeth he had slipped the fairest opportunity that
could be to do the service. He, to make some satisfaction, punished the
purveyors that had not made provision of beer, bread, &c. which was not
yet ready nor embarked, secretly smiling at the insolence of the
Spaniards, when he heard them bragging that what way soever they came
upon England, they would have an undoubted victory; that the English
were not able to endure the sight of them. The English admiral appointed
Seimor and the Hollanders to watch upon the coast of Flanders that the
duke of Parma should not come out; whilst he himself close followed the
Spaniards until they were past Edinburgh Frith.

The Spaniards, seeing all hopes fail, fled amain; and so this great
navy, being three years preparing with great expense, was within one
month overthrown, and, after many were killed, being chased again, was
driven about all England, by Scotland, the Oreades, and Ireland, tossed
and damaged with tempests, much diminished, and went home without glory.
There were not a hundred men of the English lost, and but one ship.
Whereupon money was coined with a navy fleeing away in full sail, with
this inscription, Venit, Vidit, Fugit. Others were coined with the
ships on fire, the navy confounded, inscribed, in honour of the queen,
Dux Faemina Facti. As they fled, it is certain that many of their ships
were cast away upon the shores of Scotland and Ireland. About seven
hundred soldiers and mariners were cast away upon the Scottish shore,
who, at the duke of Parma's intercession with the Scotch king, the queen
of England consenting, were after a year sent into Flanders. But they
that were cast upon the Irish shore came to more miserable fortunes, for
some were killed by the wild Irish, and others were destroyed for fear
they should join themselves with the wild Irish, (which cruelty queen
Elizabeth much condemned,) and the rest being afraid, sick and hungry,
with their disabled ships, committed themselves to the sea, and many
were drowned.

The queen went to public thanksgiving in St. Paul's church, accompanied
by a glorious train of nobility, through the streets of London, which
were hung with blue cloth, the companies standing on both sides in their
liveries; the banners that were taken from the enemies were spread; she
heard the sermon, and public thanks were rendered unto God with great
joy. This public joy was augmented when Sir Robert Sidney returned from
Scotland, and brought from the king assurances of his noble mind and
affection to the queen, and to religion; which as in sincerity he had
established, so he purposed to maintain with all his power. Sir Robert
Sidney was sent to him when the Spanish fleet was coming, to
congratulate and return thanks for his great affection towards the
maintenance of the common cause, and to declare how ready she would be
to help him if the Spaniards should land in Scotland; and that he might
recal to memory with what strange ambition the Spaniards had gaped for
all Britain, urging the pope to excommunicate him, to the end that he
might be thrust from the kingdom of Scotland, and from the succession in
England: and to give him notice of the threatening of Mendoza, and the
pope's nuncio, who threatened his ruin if they could effect it: and
therefore warned him to take special heed to the Scottish papists.

The king pleasantly answered that he looked for no other benefit from
the Spaniards, than that which Polyphemus promised to Ulysses, to devour
him last after his fellows were devoured.

It may not be improper here to subjoin a list of the different articles
taken on board the Spanish ships, designed for the tormenting of the
protestants, had their scheme taken effect.

1. The common soldiers' pikes, eighteen feet long, pointed with long
sharp spikes, and shod with iron, which were designed to keep off the
horse, to facilitate the landing of the infantry.

2. A great number of lances used by the Spanish officers. These were
formerly gilt, but the gold is almost worn off by cleaning.

3. The Spanish ranceurs, made in different forms, which were intended
either to kill the men on horseback, or pull them off their horses.

4. A very singular piece of arms, being a pistol in a shield, so
contrived as to fire the pistol, and cover the body at the same time,
with the shield. It is to be fired by a match-lock, and the sight of the
enemy is to be taken through a little grate in the shield, which is
pistol proof.

5. The banner, with a crucifix upon it, which was to have been carried
before the Spanish general. On it is engraved the pope's benediction
before the Spanish fleet sailed: for the pope came to the water side,
and, on seeing the fleet, blessed it, and styled it invincible.

6. The Spanish cravats, as they are called. These are engines of
torture, made of iron, and put on board to lock together the feet, arms
and heads of Englishmen.

7. Spanish bilboes, made of iron likewise, to yoke the English prisoners
two and two.

8. Spanish shot, which are of four sorts: pike-shot, star-shot,
chain-shot, and link-shot, all admirably contrived, as well for the
destruction of the masts and rigging of ships, as for sweeping the decks
of their men.

9. Spanish spadas poisoned at the points, so that if a man received the
slightest wound with one of them, certain death was the consequence.

10. A Spanish poll-axe, used in boarding of ships.

11. Thumb-screws, of which there were several chests full on board the
Spanish fleet. The use they were intended for is said to have been to
extort confession from the English where their money was hid.

12. The Spanish morning star; a destructive engine resembling the figure
of a star, of which there were many thousands on board, and all of them
with poisoned points; and were designed to strike at the enemy as they
came on board, in case of a close attack.

13. The Spanish general's halberd, covered with velvet. All the nails of
this weapon are double gilt with gold; and on its top is the pope's
head, curiously engraved.

14. A Spanish battle-axe, so contrived, as to strike four holes in a
man's head at once; and has besides a pistol in its handle, with a
match-lock.

15. The Spanish general's shield, carried before him as an ensign of
honour. On it are depicted, in most curious workmanship, the labours of
Hercules, and other expressive allegories.

When the Spanish prisoners were asked by some of the English what their
intentions were, had their expedition succeeded, they replied, "To
extirpate the whole from the island, at least all heretics (as they
called the protestants,) and to send their souls to hell." Strange
infatuation! Ridiculous bigotry! How prejudiced must the minds of those
men be, who would wish to destroy their fellow-creatures, not only in
this world, but, if it were possible, in that which is to come, merely
because they refused to believe on certain subjects as the Spaniards
themselves did.





Next: A Conspiracy By The Papists For The Destruction Of James I The Royal Family And Both Houses Of Parliament; Commonly Known By The Name Of The Gunpowder Plot

Previous: God's Punishments Upon Some Of The Persecutors Of His People In Mary's Reign



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