A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 07 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 785 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 07.
were cut in the head, others thrust in the body, and many of them so sore wounded that they rushed faster out at one side of the ship than they came in at the other, tumbling fast overboard on both side with their weapons, some falling into the sea, and others into their boats, in which they made all haste on shore.  But though they came to the ship in great numbers, only a small number of them returned, yet it is not known how many of them were slain or drowned.  On this occasion only one Englishman was slain named John Tristram, and six others wounded; but it was piteous to behold so many Spaniards swimming in the sea, and unable to save their lives, of whom four who had got hold of some part of the ship, were rescued from the waves by Mr Foster and his men, whose bosoms were found stuffed with paper to defend them from the shot, and these four being wounded, were dressed by the English surgeon.  One of these was the corregidore himself, who was governor over an hundred cities and towns, his appointments exceeding six hundred pounds a year.  This strange incident took place about six o’clock in the evening; after they had landed upwards of twenty tons of goods from the Primrose, which were delivered at Bilboa by John Barrell and John Brodbank, who were made prisoners on shore.

[Footnote 333:  This seems to allude to their fears of the Inquisition, if made prisoners.—­E.]

After this valiant exploit, performed by 28 Englishmen against 97 Spaniards, Mr Foster and his men saw that it were vain for them to remain any longer; wherefore they hoisted their sails and came away with the rest of their goods, and arrived safely by the blessing of God near London, on the 8th June 1585.  During their return towards England, the corregidore and the other Spaniards they had made prisoners offered 500 crowns to be set on shore anywhere on the coast of Spain or Portugal; but as Mr Foster would not consent, they were glad to crave mercy and remain on board.  On being questioned by Mr Foster as to their reason for endeavouring thus to betray him and his men, the corregidore assured him it was not done of their own accord, but by the command of the king of Spain; and calling for his hose, which were wet, he took out the royal commission authorising and commanding him to do what he had attempted, which was to the following purport: 

“Licentiate de Escober, my corregidore of my lordship of Biscay.  Seeing that I have caused a great fleet to be equipped in the havens of Lisbon and Seville, that there is required for the soldiers, armour, victuals, and ammunition, and that great store of shipping is wanted for the said service:  I therefore require you, on sight of this order, that with as much secrecy as may be, you take order for arresting all the shipping that may be found on the coast and in the ports of the said lordship, particularly all such as belong to Holland, Zealand, Esterland, Germany, England, or other provinces and countries

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