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wood of a large and high growth, very straight, and without
boughs, save only in the head or top, whose leaves are not
much differing from our broom in England. Amongst these
trees night by night, through the whole land, did shew them-
selves an infinite swarm of fiery worms flying in the air,
whose bodies being no bigger than our common English
flies, make such a show and light as if every twig or tree
had been a burning candle. In this place breedeth also
wonderful store of bats, as big as large hens. Of cray-
fishes also here wanted no plenty, and they of exceeding big-
ness, one whereof was sufficient for four hungry stomachs
at a dinner, being also very good and restoring meat, where-
of we had experience: and they dig themselves holes in the
earth like coneys.

When we had ended our business here we weighed, and
set sail to run for the Malucos. But having at that time a


bad wind, and being amongst the islands, with much difficulty
we recovered to the northward of the island of Celebes;
where by reason of contrary winds, not able to continue our
course to run westwards, we were enforced to alter the same
to the southward again, finding that course also to be very
hard and dangerous for us, by reason of infinite shoals
which lie off and among the islands; whereof we had too
much trial, to the hazard and danger of our ship and lives.
For, of all other days, upon the 9. of January, in the year
1579, 21 we ran suddenly upon a rock, where we stuck fast
from eight of the clock at night till four of the clock in the
afternoon the next day, being indeed out of all hope to es-
cape the danger. But our General, as he had always hitherto
shewed himself courageous, and of a good confidence in the
mercy and protection of God, so now he continued in the
same. And lest he should seem to perish wilfully, both he
and we did our best endeavour to save ourselves; which it
pleased God so to bless, that in the end we cleared ourselves
most happily of the danger.

We lighted our ship upon the rocks of three ton of cloves,
eight pieces of ordnance, and certain meal and beans; and
then the wind, as it were in a moment by the special
grace of God, changing from the starboard to the larboard
of the ship, we hoised our sails, and the happy gale drove
our ship off the rock into the sea again, to the no little com-
fort of all our hearts, for which we gave God such praise
and thanks, as so great a benefit required.

The 8. of February following, we fell with the fruitful
island of Barateve, 22 having in the mean time suffered many
dangers by winds and shoals. The people of this island are
comely in body and stature, and of a civil behaviour, just in
dealing, and courteous to strangers ; whereof we had the ex-
perience sundry ways, they being most glad of our presence,
and very ready to relieve our wants in those things which
their country did yield. The men go naked, saving their
heads and loins, every man having something or other
hanging at their ears. Their women are covered from the
middle down to the foot, wearing a great number of brace-
lets upon their arms; for some had eight upon each arm,
81 L e. 1580. "Balj an.


being made some of bone, some of Horn, and some of brass,
the lightest whereof, by our estimation, weighed two ounces
apiece. With this people linen-cloth is good merchandise,
and of good request; whereof they make rolls for their
heads, and girdles to wear about them. Their island is both
rich and fruitful; rich in gold, silver, copper, and sulphur,
wherein they seem skilful and expert, not only to try the
same, but in working it also artificially into any form and
fashion that pleaseth them. Their fruits be divers and
plentiful; as nutmegs, ginger, long pepper, lemons, cucum-
bers, cocos, figu, sagu, with divers other sorts. And among
all the rest we had one fruit, in bigness, form and husk, like a
bay berry, hard of substance and pleasant of taste, which being
sodden becometh soft, and is a most good and wholesome
victual; whereof we took reasonable store, as we did also of
the other fruits and spices. So that to confess a truth, since
the time that we first set out of our own country of England,
we happened upon no place, Ternate only excepted, wherein
we found more comforts and better means of refreshing.

At our departure from Baratevc, we set our course for
Java Major; 2 * where arriving, we found great courtesy, and
honourable entertainment. This island is governed by five
kings, whom they call Rajah; as Rajah Donaw, and Rajah
Mang Bange, and Rajah Cabuccapollo, which live as having
one spirit and one mind. Of these five we had four a-shipboard
at once, and two or three often. They are wonderfully de-
lighted in coloured clothes, as red and green; the upper
part of their bodies are naked, save their heads, whereupon
they wear a Turkish roll as do the Maluccians. From the
middle downward they wear a pintado of silk, trailing upon
the ground, in colour as they best like. The Maluccians hate
that their women should be seen of strangers ; but these offer
them of high courtesy, yea, the kings themselves. The peo-
ple are of goodly stature and warlike, well provided of
swords and targets, with daggers, all being of their own
work, and most artificially done, both in tempering their
metal, as also in the form; whereof we bought reasonable
store. They have an house in every village for their com-
mon assembly ; every day they meet twice, men, women, and

83 Java.


children, bringing with them such victuals as they think good,
some fruits, some rice boiled, some hens roasted, some sagu,
having a table made three foot from the ground, whereon
they set their meat, that every person sitting at the table
may eat, one rejoicing in the company of another. They
boil their rice in an earthen pot, made in form of a sugar
loaf, being full of holes, as our pots which we water our
gardens withal, and it is open at the great end, wherein they
put their rice dry, without any moisture. In the mean time
they have ready another great earthen pot, set fast in a
furnace, boiling full of water, whereinto they put their pot
with rice, by such measure, that they swelling become soft at
the first, and by their swelling stopping the holes of the pot,
admit no more water to enter, but the more they are boiled,
the harder and more firm substance they become. So that
in the end they are a firm and good bread, of the which with
oil, butter, sugar, and other spices, they make divers sorts
of meats very pleasant of taste, and nourishing to nature.
* * * Not long before our departure, they told us that not
far off there were such great ships as ours, wishing us to
beware; upon this our captain would stay no longer. From
Java Major we sailed for the Cape of Good Hope, which
was the first land we fell withal; neither did we touch with
it, or any other land, until we came to Sierra Leona, upon
the coast of Guinea; notwithstanding we ran hard aboard
the cape, finding the report of the Portugals to be most false,
who affirm that it is the most dangerous cape of the world,
never without intolerable storms and present danger to
travellers which come near the same. This cape is a most
stately thing, and the fairest cape we saw in the whole cir-
cumference of the earth, and we passed by it the 18. of June.
From thence we continued our course to Sierra Leona, on
the coast of Guinea, where we arrived the 22. of July, and
found necessary provisions, great store of elephants, oysters
upon trees of one kind, 2 * spawning and increasing infinitely,
the oyster suffering no bud to grow. We departed thence
the four and twentieth day.

We arrived in England the third of November, 1580, being
the third year of our departure.

M The mangrove.


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

Drake's armament of 1585 was the greatest that had ever
crossed the Atlantic. After plundering some vessels at the Vigo
river, he sailed for the West Indies by way of the Canaries and
Cape Verde Islands, hoisted the English flag over Santiago and



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

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

The following narrative is in the main the composition of


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


[Narrative mainly by Captain Walter Biggs]

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

THIS worthy knight, for the service of his prince and
country, having prepared his whole fleet, and gotten
them down to Plymouth, in Devonshire, to the num-
ber of five and twenty sail of ships and pinnaces, and having
assembled of soldiers and mariners to the number of 2,300
in the whole, embarked them and himself at Plymouth afore-
said, the 12. day of September, 1585, being accompanied with
these men of name and charge which hereafter follow:
Master Christopher Carlile, Lieutenant-General, a man of
long experience in the wars as well by sea as land, who had
formerly carried high offices in both kinds in many fights,
which he discharged always very happily, and with great
good reputation; Anthony Powell, Sergeant-Major; Captain
Matthew Morgan, and Captain John Sampson, Corporals
of the Field. These officers had commandment over the rest
of the land-captains, whose names hereafter follow: Cap-
tain Anthony Piatt, Captain Edward Winter, Captain John
Goring, Captain Robert Pew, Captain George Barton, Cap-
tain John Merchant, Captain William Cecil, Captain Walter
Biggs, 1 Captain John Hannam, Captain Richard Stanton.
Captain Martin Frobisher, Vice-Admiral, a man of great
experience in seafaring actions, who had carried the chief
charge of many ships himself, in sundry voyages before,
being now shipped in the Primrose; Captain Francis Knollcs,
Rear-Admiral in the galleon Leicester; Master Thomas
Venner, captain in the Elizabeth Bonadventure, under the

1 The writer of the first part of the narrative.



General ; Master Edward Winter, captain in the Aid ; Master
Christopher Carlile, the Lieutenant-General, captain of the
Tiger; Henry White, captain of the Sea-Dragon; Thomas
Drake," captain of the Thomas; Thomas Seeley, captain of
the Minion; Baily, captain of the Talbot; Robert Cross,
captain of the bark Bond; George Fortescue, captain of the
bark Bonner; Edward Careless, captain of the Hope; James
Erizo, captain of the White Lion; Thomas Moon, captain of
the Francis; John Rivers, captain of the Vantage; John
Vaughan, captain of the Drake; John Varney, captain of the
George; John Martin, captain of the Benjamin; Edward Gil-
man, captain of the Scout; Richard Hawkins, captain of the
galliot called the Duck; Bitfield, captain of the Swallow.

After our going hence, which was the 14. of September,
in the year of our Lord 1585, and taking our course towards
Spain, we had the wind for a few days somewhat scant, and
sometimes calm. And being arrived near that part of Spain
which is called the Moors, 3 we happened to espy divers sails,
which kept their course close by the shore, the weather being
fair and calm. The General caused the Vice-Admiral to go
with the pinnaces well manned to see what they were ; who
upon sight of the said pinnaces approaching near unto them,
abandoned for the most part all their ships, being Frenchmen,
laden all with salt, and bound homewards into France.
Amongst which ships, being all of small burthen, there was
one so well liked, which also had no man in her, as being
brought unto the General, he thought good to make stay of
her for the service, meaning to pay for her, as also accord-
ingly he performed at our return ; which bark was called
the Drake. The rest of these ships, being eight or nine,
were dismissed without anything at all taken from them.
Who being afterwards put somewhat farther off from the
shore, by the contrariety of the wind, we happened to meet
with some other French ships, full laden with Ncwland fish,
being upon their return homeward from the said Nezvfound-
land; whom the General after some speech had with them,
and seeing plainly that they were Frenchmen, dismissed,
without once suffering any man to go aboard of them.

The day following, standing in with the shore again, we

* Francis Drake's brother. * Muros, S. of Cape Finisterre.


descried another tall ship of twelve score tons or thereabouts,
upon whom Master Carlile, the Lieutenant-General, being in
the Tiger, undertook the chase ; whom also anon after the
Admiral followed. And the Tiger having caused the said
strange ship to strike her sails, kept her there without suffer-
ing anybody to go aboard until the Admiral was come up;
who forthwith sending for the master, and divers others of
their principal men, and causing them to be severally exam-
ined, found the ship and goods to be belonging to the inhabi-
tants of St. Sebastian, in Spain, but the mariners to be for
the most part belonging to St. John de Lus, and the Pas-
sage* In this ship was great store of dry Newland fish,
commonly called with us Poor John; whereof afterwards,
being thus found a lawful prize, there was distribution made
into all the ships of the fleet, the same being so new and good,
as it did very greatly bestead us in the whole course of our
voyage. A day or two after the taking of this ship we put
in within the Isles of Bayon,* for lack of favourable wind.
Where we had no sooner anchored some part of the fleet, but
the General commanded all the pinnaces with the shipboats
to be manned, and every man to be furnished with such arms
as were needful for that present service ; which being done,
the General put himself into his galley, which was also well
furnished, and rowing towards the city of Bayon, with in-
tent, and the favour of the Almighty, to surprise it. Before
we had advanced one half-league of our way there came a
messenger, being an English merchant, from the governor,
to see what strange fleet we were ; who came to our General,
conferred a while with him, and after a small time spent,
our General called for Captain Sampson, and willed him to
go to the governor of the city, to resolve him of two points.
The first to know if there were any zuars between Spain and
England; the second, why our merchants with their goods
were embarged or arrested? Thus departed Captain Samp-
son with the said messenger to the city, where he found the
governor and people much amazed of such a sudden accident.
The General, with the advice and counsel of Master Carlile,
his Lieutenant-General, who was in the galley with him,

^Passages, E. of San Sebastian.

6 Tbe Cies Islets, at the mouth of the Vigo River.


thought not good to make any stand, till such time as they
were within the shot of the city, where they might be ready
upon the return of Captain Sampson, to make a sudden at-
tempt, if cause did require, before it were dark.

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


and double-gilt all over, having cost them a great mass of
money. They complained to have lost in all kinds of goods
above thirty thousand ducats in this place.

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

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

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