This voyage was performed by two barks or pinnaces, the Serpent of 35 tons, and the Mary Sparke of Plymouth of 50 tons, both belonging to Sir Walter Raleigh, knight. Leaving Plymouth on the 10th June 1586, we directed our course in the first place for the coast of Spain, and thence for the islands called the Azores, in which course we captured a small bark, laden with sumach and other commodities, in which was the Portuguese governor of St Michael’s Island, with several other Portuguese and Spaniards. Sailing thence to the island of Gracioso, westward of Tercera, we descried a sail to which we gave chase, and found her to be a Spaniard. But at the first, not much respecting whom we took, so that we might enrich ourselves, which was the object of our expedition, and not willing it should be known what we were, we displayed a white silk ensign in our maintop, which made them believe that we were of the Spanish navy laying in wait for English cruizers; but when we got within shot, we hauled down our white flag, and hoisted the St Georges ensign, on which they fled as fast as they were able, but all in vain, as our ships sailed faster than they; wherefore they threw overboard all their ordnance and shot, with many letters and the chart of the straits of Magellan, which lead into the south sea, immediately after which we took her, finding on board a Spanish gentleman named Pedro Sarmiento, who was governor of the straits of Magellan, whom we brought home to England, and presented to the queen our sovereign.
[Footnote 336: Hakluyt; II. 606. Astley, I. 196. The command of this expedition is attributed by the editor of Astley’s Collection to captain Whiddon, on the authority of the concluding sentence.—E.]
After this, while plying off and on about the islands, we espied another sail to which we gave chase, during which our admiral sprung his main-mast; yet in the night our vice-admiral got up with and captured the chase, which we found was laden with fish from Cape Blanco on which we let her go for want of hands to bring her home. Next day we descried two vessels, one a ship and the other a caravel, to which we gave chase, on which they made with all haste for the island of Gracioso, where they got to anchor under protection of a fort; as having the wind of us we were unable to cut them off from the land, or to get up to attack them with our ships as they lay at anchor. Having a small boat which we called a light horseman, there went into her myself and four men armed with calivers, and four others to row, in which we went towards them against the wind. On seeing us row towards them, they carried a considerable part of their merchandise on shore, and landed all the men of both vessels; and as soon as we got near, they began to fire upon us both from their cannon and small arms, which we returned as well as we could. We then boarded one of their ships, in which they had not left a single man; and having cut her cables and hoisted