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Captain assured him, " There was no cause of doubt of
them, of whom he had had such former trial."


When we were come within an English mile of the way,
we stayed all night, refreshing ourselves, in great stillness,
in a most convenient place: where we heard the carpenters,
being many in number, working upon their ships, as they
usually do by reason of the great heat of the day in Nombre
de Dios; and might hear the mules coming from Panama,
by reason of the advantage of the ground.

The next morning (ist April), upon hearing of that num-
ber of bells, the Cimaroons, rejoiced exceedingly, as though
there could not have befallen them a more joyful accident
chiefly having been disappointed before. Now they all as-
sured us, " We should have more gold and silver than all of
us could bear away " : as in truth it fell out.

For there came three Recuas, one of 50 mules, the other
two, of 70 each, every [one] of which carried 300 lbs. weight
of silver; which in all amounted to near thirty tons [i.e., 190
mules, with 300 lbs. each=about 57,000 lbs. of silver].

We putting ourselves in readiness, went down near the
way to hear the bells ; where we stayed not long, but we saw
of what metal they were made; and took such hold on the
heads of the foremost and hindmost mules, that all the rest
stayed and lay down, as their manner is.

These three Recuas were guarded with forty-five soldiers
or thereabouts, fifteen to each Recua, which caused some ex-
change of bullets and arrows for a time; in which conflict
the French Captain was sore wounded with hail-shot in the
belly, and one Cimaroon was slain: but in the end, these
soldiers thought it the best way to leave their mules with us,
and to seek for more help abroad.

In which meantime we took some pain to ease some of the
mules which were heaviest loaden of their carriage. And
because we ourselves were somewhat weary, we were con-
tented with a few bars and quoits of gold, as we could well
carry: burying about fifteen tons of silver, partly in the
burrows which the great land crabs had made in the earth,
and partly under old trees which were fallen thereabout, and
partly in the sand and gravel of a river, not very deep of

Thus when about this business, we had spent some two
hours, and had disposed of all our matters, and were ready


to march back the very self-same way that we came, we
heard both horse and foot coming as it seemed to the mules :
for they never followed us, after we were once entered the
woods, where the French Captain by reason of his wound,
not able to travel farther, stayed, in hope that some rest
would recover him better strength.

But after we had marched some two leagues, upon the
French soldiers' complaint, that they missed one of their
men also, examination being made whether he were slain or
not: it was found that he had drunk much wine, and over-
lading himself with pillage, and hasting to go before us, had
lost himself in the woods. And as we afterwards knew, he
was taken by the Spaniards that evening; and upon torture,
discovered unto them where we had hidden our treasure.

We continued our march all that and the next day (2nd
and 3rd April) towards Rio Francisco, in hope to meet with
our pinnaces ; but when we came thither, looking out to sea,
we saw seven Spanish pinnaces, which had been searching
all the coast thereabouts : whereupon we mightily suspected
that they had taken or spoiled our pinnaces, for that our
Captain had given so straight charge, that they should re-
pair to this place this afternoon ; from the Cabeqas where
they rode ; whence to our sight these Spaniards' pinnaces did

But the night before, there had fallen very much rain, with
much westerly wind, which as it enforced the Spaniards to
return home the sooner, by reason of the storm: so it kept
our pinnaces, that they could not keep the appointment ;
because the wind was contrary, and blew so strong, that with
their oars they could all that day get but half the way.
Notwithstanding, if they had followed our Captain's direc-
tion in setting forth over night, while the wind served, they
had arrived at the place appointed with far less labour, but
with far more danger: because that very day at noon, the
shallops manned out, of purpose, from Nombre de Dios, were
come to this place to take our pinnaces : imagining where we
were, after they had heard of our intercepting of the

Our Captain seeing the shallops, feared least having taken
our pinnaces, they had compelled our men by torture to


confess where his frigate and ships were. Therefore in this
distress and perplexity, the company misdoubting that all
means of return to their country were cut off, and that their
treasure then served them to small purpose; our Captain
comforted and encouraged us all, saying, " We should ven-
ture no farther than he did. It was no time now to fear:
but rather to haste [n] to prevent that which was feared!
If the enemy have prevailed against our pinnaces, which
GOD forbid ! yet they must have time to search them, time
to examine the mariners, time to execute their resolution
after it is determined. Before all these times be taken, we
may get to our ships, if ye will ! though not possibly by land,
because of the hills, thickets, and rivers, yet by water. Let
us, therefore, make a raft with the trees that are here in
readiness, as offering themselves, being brought down the
river, happily this last storm, and put ourselves to sea ! I
will be one, who will be the other?"

John Smith offered himself, and two Frenchmen that
could swim very well, desired they might accompany our
Captain, as did the Cimaroons likewise (who had been very
earnest with our Captain to have marched by land, though
it were sixteen days' journey, and in case the ship had been
surprised, to have abode always with them), especially
Pedro, who yet was fain to be left behind, because he could
not row.

The raft was fitted and fast bound; a sail of a biscuit
sack prepared; an oar was shaped out of a young tree to
serve instead of a rudder, to direct their course before the

At his departure he comforted the company, by promising,
that " If it pleased GOD, he should put his foot in safety
aboard his frigate, he would, GOD willing, by one means or
other get them all aboard, in despite of all the Spaniards in
the Indies ! "

In this manner pulling off to the sea, he sailed some three
leagues, sitting up to the waist continually in water, and at
every surge of the wave to the arm-pits, for the space of six
hours, upon this raft : what with the parching of the sun and
what with the beating of the salt water, they had all of them
their skins much fretted away.


At length GOD gave them the sight of two pinnaces
turning towards them with much wind ; but with far greater
joy to him than could easily conjecture, and did cheerfully
declare to those three with him, that " they were our pin-
naces ! and that all was safe, so that there was no cause of
fear ! "

But see, the pinnaces not seeing this raft, nor suspecting
any such matter, by reason of the wind and night growing
on, were forced to run into a cove behind the point, to take
succour, for that night: which our Captain seeing, and
gathering (because they came not forth again), that they
would anchor there, put his raft ashore, and ran by land
about the point, where he found them; who, upon sight of
him, made as much haste as they could to take him and his
company aboard. For our Captain (of purpose to try what
haste they could and would make in extremity), himself ran
in great haste, and so willed the other three with him; as if
they had been chased by the enemy: which they the rather
suspected, because they saw so few with him.

And after his coming aboard, when they demanding
"How all his company did?" he answered coldly, " Well! "
They all doubted [feared] that all went scarce well. But he
willing to rid all doubts, and fill them with joy, took out of
his bosom a quoit of gold, thanking GOD that " our voyage
was made ! "

And to the Frenchmen he declared, how their Captain
indeed was left behind, sore wounded and two of his com-
pany with him : but it should be no hindrance to them.

That night (4th April) our Captain with great pain of his
company, rowed to Rio Francisco : where he took the rest
in, and the treasure which we had brought with us: making
such expedition, that by dawning of the day, we set sail back
again to our frigate, and from thence directly to our ships:
where, as soon as we arrived, our Captain divided by weight,
the gold and silver into two even portions, between the
French and the English.

About a fortnight after, when we had set all things in
order, and taking out of our ship [the Pascha] all such
necessaries as we needed for our frigate, had left and given


her to the Spaniards, whom we had all this time detained, we
put out of that harbour [at Fort Diego, p. 160] together with
the French ship, riding some few days among the Cabeqas.

In the meantime, our Captain made a secret composition
with the Cimaroons, that twelve of our men and sixteen of
theirs, should make another voyage, to get intelligence in
what case the country stood; and if it might be, recover
Monsieur Tetu, the French Captain; at leastwise to bring
away that which was hidden in our former surprise, and
could not then be conveniently carried.

John Oxnam and Thomas Sherwell were put in trust
for his service, to the great content of the whole company,
who conceived greatest hope of them next our Captain;
whom by no means they would condescend to suffer to
adventure again, this time : yet he himself rowed to set them
ashore at Rio Francisco; finding his labour well employed
both otherwise, and also in saving one of those two French-
men that had remained willingly to accompany their wounded

For this gentleman, having escaped the rage of the Span-
iards, was now coming towards our pinnace, where he fell
down on his knees, blessing GOD for the time, " that ever
our Captain was born ; who' now, beyond all his hopes, was
become his deliverer."

He being demanded, " What was become of his Captain
and other fellow?" shewed that within half an hour after
our departure, the Spaniards had overgotten them, and took
his Captain and other fellow : he only escaped by flight, hav-
ing cast away all his carriage, and among the rest one box of
jewels, that he might fly the swifter from the pursuers: but
his fellow took it up and burdened himself so sore, that he
could make no speed; as easily as he might otherwise, if he
would have cast down his pillage, and laid aside his covetous
mind. As for the silver, which we had hidden thereabout in
the earth and the sands, he thought that it was all gone : for
that he thought there had been near two thousand Spaniards
and Negroes there to dig and search for it.

This report notwithstanding, our purpose held, and our
men were sent to the said place, where they found that the
earth, every way a mile distant had been digged and turned


up in every place of any likelihood, to have anything hidden
in it.

And yet nevertheless, for all that narrow search, all our
men's labour was not quite lost, but so considered, that the
third day after their departure, they all returned safe and
cheerful, with as much silver as they and all the Cimaroons
could find (viz., thirteen bars of silver, and some few quoits
of gold), with which they were presently embarked, without
empeachment, repairing with no less speed than joy to our

Now was it high time to think of homewards, having sped
ourselves as we desired : and therefore our Captain concluded
to visit Rio Grande [Magdelena] once again, to see if he
could meet with any sufficient ship or bark, to carry victuals
enough to serve our turn homewards, in which we might in
safety and security embark ourselves.

The Frenchmen having formerly gone from us, as soon as
they had their shares, at our first return with the treasure ;
as being very desirous to return home into their country,
and our Captain as desirous to dismiss them, as they were to
be dismissed: for that he foresaw they could not in their ship
avoid the danger of being taken by the Spaniards, if they
should make out any Men-of-war for them, while they
lingered on the coast; and having also been then again re-
lieved with victuals by us. Now at our meeting of them
again, were very loath to leave us, and therefore accom-
panied us very kindly as far up as St. Bernards ; and farther
would, but that they durst not adventure so great danger ;
for that we had intelligence, that the Fleet was ready to set
sail for Spain, riding at the entry of Cartagena.

Thus we departed from them, passing hard by Cartagena,
in the sight of all the Fleet, with a flag of St. George in
the main top of our frigate, with silk streamers and ancients
down to the water, sailing forward with a large wind, till we
came within two leagues of the river [Magdalena], being all
low land, and dark night : where to prevent the over shooting
of the river in the night, we lay off and on bearing small
sail, till that about midnight the wind veering to the east-
ward, by two of the clock in the morning, a frigate from


Rio Grande [Magdalena] passed hard by us, bearing also
but small sail. We saluted them with our shot and arrows,
they answered us with bases; but we got aboard them, and
took such order, that they were content against their wills
to depart ashore and to leave us this frigate: which was of
25 tons, loaded with maize, hens, and hogs, and some honey,
in very good time fit for our use; for the honey especially
was notable reliever and preserver of our crazed [sick]

The next morning as soon as we set those Spaniards
ashore on the Main, we set our course for the Cabeqas with-
out any stop, whither we came about five days after. And
being at anchor, presently we hove out all the maize a land,
saving three butts which we kept for our store: and carry-
ing all our provisions ashore, we brought both our frigates
on the careen, and new tallowed them.

Here we stayed about seven nights, trimming and rigging
our frigates, boarding and stowing our provisions, tearing
abroad and burning our pinnaces, that the Cimaroons might
have the iron-work.

About a day or two before our departure, our Captain
willed Pedro and three of the chiefest of the Cimaroons to
go through both his frigates, to see what they liked; prom-
ising to give it them, whatsoever it were, so it were not so
necessary as that he could not return into England without
it. And for their wives he would himself seek out some
silks or linen that might gratify them; which while he was
choosing out of his trunks, the scimitar which Captain
Tetu had given to our Captain, chanced to be taken forth
in Pedro's sight: which he seeing grew so much in liking
thereof, that he accounted of nothing else in respect of it,
and preferred it before all that could be given him. Yet
imagining that it was no less esteemed of our Captain,
durst not himself open his mouth to crave or commend it;
but made one Francis Tucker to be his mean to break his
mind, promising to give him a fine quoit of gold, which yet
he had in store, if he would but move our Captain for it;
and to our Captain himself, he would give four other great
quoits which he had hidden, intending to have reserved
them until another voyage.


Our Captain being accordingly moved by Francis Tucker,
could have been content to have made no such exchange ;
but yet desirous to content him, that had deserved so well,
he gave it him with many good words : who received it with
no little joy, affirming that if he should give his wife and
children which he loved dearly in lieu of it, he could not
sufficient recompense it (for he would present his king with
it, who he knew would make him a great man, even for this
very gift's sake) ; yet in gratuity and stead of other re-
quital of this jewel, he desired our Captain to accept these
four pieces of gold, as a token of his thankfulness to him,
and a pawn of his faithfulness during life.

Our Captain received it in most kind sort, but took it not
to his own benefit, but caused it to be cast into the whole
Adventure, saying, "If he had not been set forth to that
place, he had not attained such a commodity, and therefore
it was just that they which bare part with him of his burden
in setting him to sea, should enjoy the proportion of his
benefit whatsoever at his return."

Thus with good love and liking we took our leave of that
people, setting over to the islands of [ ? ], whence

the next day after, we set sail towards Cape St. Antonio; by
which we past with a large wind: but presently being to
stand for the Havana, we were fain to ply to the windward
some three or four days ; in which plying we fortuned to
take a small bark, in which were two or three hundred hides,
and one most necessary thing, which stood us in great stead,
viz., a pump ! which we set in our frigate. Their bark
because it was nothing fit for our service, our Captain gave
them to carry them home.

And so returning to Cape St. Antonio, and landing there,
we refreshed ourselves, and beside great store of turtle
eggs, found by day in the [sand], we took 250 turtles by
night. We powdered [salted] and dried some of them,
which did us good service. The rest continued but a small

There were, at this time, belonging to Cartagena, Nombre
de Dios, Rio Grande, Santa Marta, Rio de la Hacha, Venta
Cruz, Veragua, Nicaragua, the Honduras, Jamaica &c,
above 200 frigates; some of a 120 tons, others but of 10 or


12 tons, but the most of 30 or 40 tons, which all had inter-
course between Cartagena and Nombre de Dios. The most
of which, during our abode in those parts, we took; and
some of them, twice or thrice each : yet never burnt nor
sunk any, unless they were made out Men-of-war against
us, or laid as stales to entrap us.

And of all the men taken in these several vessels, we never
offered any kind of violence to any, after they were once
come under our power ; but either presently dismissed them in
safety, or keeping them with us some longer time (as some
of them we did), we always provided for their sustenance
as for ourselves, and secured them from the rage of the
Cimaroons against them: till at last, the danger of their
discovering where our ships lay being over past, for which
only cause we kept them prisoners, we set them also free.

Many strange birds, beasts, and fishes, besides fruits,
trees, plants, and the like, were seen and observed of us
in this journey, which willingly we pretermit as hastening
to the end of our voyage: which from this Cape of St.
Antonio, we intended to finish by sailing the directest and
speediest way homeward; and accordingly, even beyond our
own expectation, most happily performed.

For whereas our Captain had purposed to touch at New-
foundland, and there to have watered; which would have
been some let unto us, though we stood in great want of
water; yet GOD Almighty so provided for us, by giving
us good store of rain water, that we were sufficiently fur-
nished: and, within twenty-three days, we passed from the
Cape of Florida, to the Isles of Scilly, and so arrived at
Plymouth, on Sunday, about sermon time, August the

9*> I 573-

At what time, the news of our Captain's return brought

unto his, did so speedily pass over all the church, and sur-
pass their minds with desire and delight to see him, that
very few or none remained with the Preacher. All hastened
to see the evidence of GOD's love and blessing towards our
Gracious Queen and country, by the fruit of our Captain's
labour and success.

Soli DEO Gloria.






Narrative by Francis Pretty,
one of Drake's gentlemen at arms.

The Famous Voyage of Sir FRANCIS DRAKE into the South Sea,
and therehence about the whole Globe of the Earth, begun in the
year of our Lord 1577-

THE 15. day of November, in the year of our Lord
1577, Master Francis Drake, with a fleet of five
ships and barks, 1 and to the number of 164 men,
gentlemen and sailors, departed from Plymouth, giving out
his pretended voyage for Alexandria. But the wind falling
contrary, he was forced the next morning to put into
Falmouth Haven, in Cornwall, where such and so terrible
a tempest took us, as few men have seen the like, and was
indeed so vehement that all our ships were like to have gone
to wrack. But it pleased God to preserve us from that ex-
tremity, and to afflict us only for that present with these
two particulars : the mast of our Admiral, which was the
Pelican, was cut overboard for the safeguard of the ship,
and the Marigold was driven ashore, and somewhat bruised.
For the repairing of which damages we returned again to
Plymouth; and having recovered those harms, and brought
the ships again to good state, we set forth the second time
from Plymouth, and set sail the 13. day of December
The 25. day of the same month we fell with the Cape

1 The Pelican, 120 tons, commanded by Drake; the Elizabeth, a new
Deptford-built ship of 80 tons, commanded by Winter, with her pinnace the
Benedict; the Marigold, of 30 tons; and the Swan, a fly-boat of 50 tons.



Cantin, upon the coast of Barbary; and coasting along, the
27. day we found an island called Mogador, lying one mile
distant from the main. Between which island and the
main we found a very good and safe harbour for our ships
to ride in, as also very good entrance, and void of any danger.
On this island our General erected a pinnace, whereof he
brought out of England with him four already framed.
While these things were in doing, there came to the water's
side some of the inhabitants of the country, shewing forth
their flags of truce; which being seen of our General, he
sent his ship's boat to the shore to know what they would.
They being willing to come aboard, our men left there one
man of our company for a pledge, and brought two of theirs
aboard our ship ; which by signs shewed our General that the
next day they would bring some provision, as sheep, capons,
and hens, and such like. Whereupon our General bestowed
amongst them some linen cloth and shoes, and a javelin,
which they very joyfully received, and departed for that
time. The next morning they failed not to come again to
the water's side. And our General again setting out our
boat, one of our men leaping over-rashly ashore, and offer-
ing friendly to embrace them, they set violent hands on him,
offering a dagger to his throat if he had made any resistance ;
and so laying him on a horse carried him away. So that a man
cannot be too circumspect and wary of himself among such
miscreants. Our pinnace being finished, we departed from
this place the 30. and last day of December, and coasting
along the shore we did descry, not contrary to our expecta-
tion, certain canters, which were Spanish fishermen; 2 to
whom we gave chase and took three of them. And proceed-
ing further we met with three carvels, and took them also.

The 17. day of January we arrived at Cape Blanco, where
we found a ship riding at anchor, within the Cape, and
but two simple mariners in her. Which ship we took and
carried her further into the harbour, where we remained
four days; and in that space our General mustered and
trained his men on land in warlike manner, to make them
fit for all occasions. In this place we took of the fishermen
such necessaries as we wanted, and they could yield us;

a Old Sp. cantera (perhaps from cantharus).


and leaving here one of our little barks, called the Benedict,
we took with us one of theirs which they called canters,
being of the burden of 40 tons or thereabouts. All these
things being finished we departed this harbour the 22. of
January, carrying along with us one of the Portugal carvels,
which was bound to the islands of Cape Verde for salt,
whereof good store is made in one of those islands. The
master or pilot of that carvel did advertise our General
that upon one of those islands, called Mayo, there was
great store of dried cabritos* which a few inhabitants there
dwelling did yearly make ready for such of the king"s ships
as did there touch, being bound for his country of Brazil

Online LibraryHerodotusVoyages and travels; ancient and modern → online text (page 18 of 35)