‘I, having notice of this,’ writes Sir Hugh, ’fearing they might do here the like affront as they did at Scarborough, where they landed one hundred men, and took a ship belonging to the King of Spain out of the harbour, sent for the Holland Captains, and ordered them not to offer any act of hostility; for that the Spaniard was the King’s friend, and to have protection in his ports. After some expostulations, they promised not to meddle with the Dunkirker [Spaniard] if he offered no injury to them; which I gave him strict charge against, and to trust to the King’s protection. These Holland Captains leaving me, and going into the town, sent for the Dunkirk Captain to dine with them, and soon after took occasion to quarrel with him, at the same time ordered their men to fall on the Dunkirk ship, which they soon surprised, the Captain and most of the men being absent. I being in my courtyard, and hearing some pistols discharged, and being told the Dunkirker and Hollanders were at odds, made haste unto the town, having only a cane in my hand, and one that followed me without any weapon, thinking my presence would pacify all differences. When I came to the river-side, on the sand between the coal-yard and the bridge, I found the Holland Captain with a pistol in his hand, calling to his men, then in the Dunkirk ship, to send a boat for him. I gave him good words, and held him in treaty until I got near him, and then, giving a leap on him, caught hold of his pistol, which I became master of; yet not without some hazard from the ship, for one from thence levelled a musket at me; but I espying it, turned the Captain between me and him, which prevented his shooting.’
When Sir Hugh had secured the Captain, he sent a boatload of men to retake the ship, and as soon as the Hollanders saw it approaching, they fled to their own vessels outside the harbour. In the afternoon Sir Hugh intercepted a letter to his prisoner, telling him to be of good cheer, for at midnight they would land 200 men and bring him away. This was a serious matter, and Sir Hugh sent to Sir John Hotham, the High Sheriff of the county, who at once came from Fyling, and summoned all the adjacent train-bands. There were about 200 men on guard all through the night, and evidently the Hollanders had observed the activity on shore, for they made no attack. The ships continued to hover outside the harbour for two or three days, until Sir Hugh sent the Captain to York. He was afterwards taken to London, where he remained a prisoner, after the fashion of those times, for nearly two years.
It was after the troublous times of the Civil War that Sir Hugh re-established himself at Whitby, and opened a new era of prosperity for himself and the townsfolk in the alum-works at Saltwick Nab.
THE CLEVELAND HILLS