In this gallant exploit is to be noted, both the great courage of the master, and the love of the mariners to save their master; likewise the great care of Mr Foster to save as much as he could of the goods of his owners, although by this conduct he may never more frequent those parts, without losing his own life and those of his people, as they would assuredly, if known, subject themselves to the sharp torments of their Holy house. As for the king of Spain pretending that the English were in rebellion against him, it is sufficiently well known even to themselves, with what love, unity, and concord our ships have ever dealt with them, being always at least as willing to shew pleasure and respect to their king and them, as they have been to deal hospitably by the English.—Hakl.
Voyage of Sir Francis Drake, in 1585, to the West Indies.
Upon the knowledge of the embargo laid by the king of Spain in 1585, upon the English ships, men, and goods found in his country, having no means to relieve her subjects by friendly treaty, her majesty authorised such as had sustained loss by that order of embargo to right themselves by making reprisals upon the subjects of the king of Spain; for which she gave them her letters of reprisal, to take and arrest all ships and merchandises they might find at sea or elsewhere, belonging to the subjects of that King. At the same time, to revenge the wrongs offered to her crown and dignity, and to resist the preparations then making against her by the king of Spain, her majesty equipped a fleet of twenty-five sail of ships, and employed them under the command of Sir Francis Drake, as the fittest person in her dominions, by reason of his experience and success in sundry actions.
[Footnote 334: Church. Collect. III. 155.]
It is not my intention to give all the particulars of the voyages treated of, but merely to enumerate the services performed, and the mistakes and oversights committed, as a warning to those who may read them, to prevent the like errors hereafter. As this voyage of Sir Francis Drake was the first undertaking on either side in this war, for it ensued immediately after the arrest of our ships and goods in Spain, I shall deliver my opinion of it before I proceed any farther. One impediment to the voyage was, that to which the ill success of several others that followed was imputed, viz. the want of victuals and other