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


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


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


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


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


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.

The Sixth Persecution Under Maximinus A D 235 The Tenth Persecution Under Diocletian A D 303 facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail