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entitled Die Katastrophe der spanischen Armada, 31. Juli8. August 1588.'* On the day of the first action. (Sunday) the wind came off the land, and could not have caused a rough sea. On Monday night the sea was very calm. On Tuesday the sun rose in fine weather. On Wednesday there was good weather. On Thursday it was calm part of the day. On Friday the sun rose in a calm. On Saturday, when both the hostile fleets were at anchor off Calais, where anchoring would have been out of the question had it been anything but fine, boats passed repeatedly between ship and ship and between the ships and the shore. On Sunday, as far as weather was concerned, there was nothing to render the anchorage off Calais inconvenient. On Monday it was fine enough to permit of boats going to the Spanish galeass stranded during the previous night, and between her and the town. There was no fighting after this Monday, the defeat of the Armada having been then completed. The foregoing account may have been found tedious; it is essential to a right understanding of the campaign, without which injustice would be done to the memory of Howard and his valiant companions; for it was by their valour, skill, and endurance, and not in the least by bad weather, that England was saved.
Professor Laughton maintains that nothing can be more 'inaccurate' than to represent the war between Elizabeth and Philip II. as religious. It is indeed,' he says, 'quite 'certain that religious bitterness was imported into the quarrel, but the war had its origin in two perfectly clear and wholly mundane causes.' Of these, one was the attempts made by adventurous Englishmen to break down the exclusive commercial system enforced by Spain in her transmarine dominions. The other was the countenance and assistance given by the English to Philip's rebellious subjects in the Netherlands. Either of these, we venture to think, would have been of itself sufficient to cause the war. The general circumstances of Europe were not more favourable to the success of the Spanish arms than they were when Philip had been first urged to begin it; † and religious zeal which
Freiburg im Breisgau, 1891.
The following, from the introduction to Captain Duro's valuable collection, 'La Armada Invencible,' Madrid, 1881, is worth notice: 'Don Alvaro de Bazan, Marquis de Santa Cruz, acabada felizmente la jornada de las islas Terceras, en 1583, escribió al Rey proponiendo la invasion de Inglaterra con la armada y el ejército victoriosos, como cosa hacedera y necesaria si habia de dominarse la rebelion de los Países
can be repressed for years is not likely to be of a character so burning that nothing but a great war can assuage it.
Santa Cruz, who was a naval officer of great experience and tried capacity, knew that the invasion of England, even as England then was, would not be a trifling affair. In a detailed plan submitted by him to the king in March 1586, he put down the necessary numbers of the expedition at 150 great ships of war, 360 storeships and smaller vessels, 46 galleys and galleasses, giving a total of 556 ships of all kinds and 85,332 men, to which were to be added cavalry, 'artillerymen, volunteers, and non-combatants, bringing up 'the number of men to a gross total of 94,222.' The project was too vast for Philip. He decided that a smaller, but still enormous fleet, carrying, in addition to its sailors, nearly 20,000 soldiers, should proceed to the English Channel, and escort across from the Low Countries the army under the Duke of Parma, which, together with the soldiers already on board, would suffice for the invasion. Preparations for an expedition as thus arranged were begun, and became known in England. In the opinion of the English admirals the best way of meeting the danger was to proceed to the Spanish dominions and destroy the vast Armada whilst fitting out in port. To this opinion they adhered till the last, and with good reason. In April 1587 Drake had been ordered to sail from England for the coast of Spain with twenty-four ships. Counter-orders were issued, but, fortunately, failed to catch him. He went down to Cadiz, and there sank, 'burnt, or brought away thirty-seven of the enemy's ships.'* The fitting-out of the Armada was delayed, and in the meantime Santa Cruz died. In his place as Commander-inChief of the expedition was appointed the Duke of MedinaSidonia, whose only recommendations were his social position and his good-nature-qualifications occasionally considered sufficient in other services for high command. The Armada, which first assembled in the Tagus, sailed on the 20 May, put into Corunna, and started again for the English Channel on the July. It reached its rendezvous off the Lizard on Saturday the July.
Bajos, que tenía la raiz en la isla frontera' (i. p. 15). years before the war avowedly began.
This was two
*Thus Laughton, p. xxvii; but Captain Duro, who gives Drake twenty-seven ships, says: Incendió diez y ocho naves grandes que allí se aprestaban; apresó otras seis' (i. p. 29). Bruce (Report, &c., p. 19) says above 100 vessels!
VOL. CLXXXI. NO. CCCLXXI.
The English force was divided into two fleets-one, under Lord Henry Seymour and Sir William Wynter, in the Straits of Dover; the other the main fleet-under Lord Howard of Effingham, Lord High Admiral, with John Hawkyns and Drake, at Plymouth. On Saturday Howard beat out of the Sound. On the next day, Sunday the July, the first action between the fleets was fought. The result was eminently favourable to the English, who were at that time in a considerable numerical inferiority. The Nuestra Señora del Rosario, flagship of Don Pedro de Valdes, was so maltreated that she was left behind, and was captured by Drake the next morning. The San Salvador,' seriously injured by an explosion, was also left, and fell into the hands of our countrymen. On Tuesday, July, there was a second action off Portland. On Thursday there was a third, off the Isle of Wight, when the Santa Ana,' flagship of Don Juan Martinez de Recalde, was so much damaged that she had to go out of action and run herself ashore near Havre. The Spaniards had thus already lost three of their most important ships. They were, however, approaching the point at which Medina-Sidonia hoped to find Parma ready to join him.
Howard's fleet, as it ran up Channel, was reinforced by many small vessels. On Saturday afternoon the Spaniards anchored off Calais. Howard also anchored about a mile to westward and to windward of them, and was joined by Seymour and his squadron. The whole British fleet, notwithstanding that there had been a numerically stronger enemy between its detached divisions, was now united. On Sunday night Howard sent eight fireships in amongst the Spanish fleet. The Spaniards cut their cables and put to sea in confusion, leaving behind them, with a damaged rudder, the San Leandro,' the largest and most heavily armed of the 'galleasses.' In the morning she was driven ashore and captured by the boats of some of the English ships. the Armada was diminished by four important ships, whilst the English had lost not a single vessel and but few men.
Wind and tide carried Medina-Sidonia far to leeward. Howard, with a few ships, remained at anchor near the stranded San Lorenzo.' The rest of the English fleet got under way.
'During the time that this galleass ["San Leandro"] was in taking by the Lord High Admiral,' says the 'Relation' of proceedings, 'Sir Francis Drake in the "Revenge," accompanied with Mr. Thomas Fenner in the "Nonpareil" and the rest of his squadron, set upon the
fleet of Spain and gave them a sharp fight. And within short time, Sir John Hawkyns in the "Victory," accompanied with Mr. Edward Fenton in the "Mary Rose," Sir George Beeston in the "Dreadnought,' Mr. Richard Hawkyns in the "Swallow," and the rest of the ships appointed to his squadron, bare with the midst of the Spanish army, and there continued an hot assault all that forenoon. Sir George Beeston behaved himself valiantly. This fight continued hotly, and then came the Lord Admiral, the Lord Thomas Howard, the Lord Sheffield, near the place where the "Victory " had been before, where these noblemen did very valiantly. Astern of these was a great galleon assailed by the Earl of Cumberland and Mr. George Raymond in the "Bonaventure" most worthily, and being also beaten with the Lord Henry Seymour in the Rainbow," and Sir William Wynter in the "Vanguard," yet she recovered into the fleet. Notwithstanding, that night she departed from the army and was sunk. After this Mr. Edward Fenton in the "Mary Rose" and a galleon encountered each other, the one standing to the eastward and the other to the westward, so close as they could conveniently one pass by another, wherein the captain and company did very well. Sir Robert Southwell that day did worthily behave himself, as he had done many times before; so did Mr. Robert Crosse in the "Hope," and most of the rest of the captains and gentlemen. This day did the Lord Henry Seymour and Sir William Wynter so batter two of the greatest armados that they were constrained to seek the coast of Flanders, and were afterwards, being distressed and spoiled, taken by the Zealanders and carried into Flushing. In this fight it is known there came to their end sundry of the Spanish ships, besides many others unknown to us' (i. 16, 17).
This victory was the crowning mercy' of the campaign. Still the English had not lost a ship; whilst, in addition to the four the fate of which has already been told, the Spaniards lost several. In our last fight with the enemy 'before Gravelines,' says the Lord Admiral
'we sank three of their ships and made four to go room with the shore so leak as they were not able to live at sea' (August 7, Howard to Walsyngham). In buffeting with them, though they were three great ships to one of us, yet we have shortened them 16 or 17; whereof there is three of them a-fishing in the bottom of the seas (August 8, Howard to Walsyngham).
The exact number of Spanish ships taken, destroyed, or driven out of action since the campaign began is not known, but Howard's rough estimate of sixteen or seventeen is,
Apparently vessels which in later times would have been called 'ships-of-the-line,' or 'line-of-battle-ships,' useful designations now replaced by the particularly silly term battle-ship,' which has been forced upon the navy by landsmen thoroughly ignorant of naval history.
apparently, not much too high. The Spanish lcsses in men were severe. An officer in the Armada put them at 600 killed and 800 wounded, figures which, if they include the drowned, do not seem exaggerated. On the other hand, the English losses were insignificant. Medina-Sidonia continued to run to the northward. As every minute carried him further from his objective, the point of junction with Parma, no more complete confession of defeat was possible. The story cannot be better continued than in the words of the Relation: '
'After this Monday's fight, which was the 29th of July† 1588, the Lord Admiral on the 30th of July † appointed the Lord Henry Seymour, Sir William Wynter, and their fleet to return back again to the Narrow Seas, to guard the coasts there, and himself determining to follow the Spanish army with his fleet until they should come so far northward as the Frith in Scotland if they should bend themselves that way, thought good to forbear any more to assault them till he might see what they proposed to do, verily thinking that they would put into the Frith, where his lordship had devised stratagems to make an end of them; but the Spaniards kept a course for the isles of Scotland, and of purpose, to our seeming, to pass home that way by the north of Scotland and west part of Ireland.
'When we were come into 55 degrees and 13 minutes to the northward, 30 leagues east of Newcastle, the Lord Admiral determined to fight with them again on the Friday, being the 2nd of August [O. S.], but by some advice and cour.sel his lordship stayed that determination, partly because we saw their course and meaning was only to get away that way to the northward to save themselves, and partly also that many of our fleet were unprovided with victuals; for our supply, which Her Majesty had most carefully provided and caused to be in readiness, knew not where to seek for us. It was therefore concluded that we should leave the Spanish fleet and direct our course for the Frith in Scotland, as well for the refreshing of our victuals as also for the performing of some other business which the Lord Admiral thought convenient to be done; but the wind coming contrary-viz. westerlythe next day the Lord Admiral altered his course and returned back again for England with his whole army.'
The rest of the tale is made up of the ghastly reports from Ireland.
'I had intelligence sent me from my brother,' says Sir Richard Bingham, that the 700 Spaniards in Ulster were despatched, which I know your Lordship heareth before this time. And this I dare assure
* T. Fenner, however, says: By all that I can gather, they are weakened of eight of their best sorts of shipping' (August 4, Fenner to Walsyngham). See also ii. 209.
In both cases O. S.