[Footnote 356: Hakluyt, II. 647. Churchill, III. 161. Astley, I. 206.]
[Footnote 357: Astley, I. 206. a.]
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The right honourable the Earl of Cumberland, intending to cruize against the enemy, prepared a small fleet of four ships only at his own charges, one of which was the Victory belonging to the queens royal navy. The others were the Meg and Margaret, two small ships, one of which was soon obliged to be sent home as unable to endure the sea, besides a small caravel. Having assembled about 400 men, sailors and soldiers, with several gentlemen volunteers, the earl and they embarked and set sail from Plymouth Sound on the 28th June 1589, accompanied by the following captains and gentlemen. Captain Christopher Lister, an officer of great resolution, Captain Edward Careless, alias Wright, who had been captain of the Hope in Sir Francis Drakes expedition to the West Indies against St Domingo and Carthagena; Captain Boswel, Mr Mervin, Mr Henry Long, Mr Partridge, Mr Norton; Mr William Monson, afterwards Sir William, who was captain of the Meg and vice-admiral, and Mr Pigeon, who was captain of the caravel.
[Footnote 358: Sir William Monson, in Churchills collection, says there were five ships; and indeed we find a fifth, called the Saucy Jack, mentioned in the narrative.—E.]
[Footnote 359: The Victory was of 800 tons, carrying 32 guns and 400 men; of whom, according to Sir William Monson, 268 were mariners, and 100 sailors, the remaining 32 being probably soldiers, or as we now call them marines. The distinction between mariners and sailors is not obvious; perhaps what are now called ordinary and able seamen,—E.]
[Footnote 360: Sir William Monson was author of some curious Naval Tracts, giving an account of the Royal Navy of England in the reigns of Queen Elizabeth and James I. which are preserved in Churchills Collection, Vol. III. pp. 147—508.—E.]
About three days after our departure from Plymouth, we met with three French ships, one of which belonged to Newhaven, and another to St Maloes; and finding them to be leaguers, and therefore lawful prizes, we took them, and sent two of them home to England with all their loading, being mostly fish from Newfoundland, having first distributed among our ships as much of the fish as they could find stowage room for; and in the third ship we sent all the prisoners home to France. On that day and the next we met some other ships, but finding them belonging to Rotterdam and Embden, bound for Rochelle, we dismissed them. On the 28th and 29th, we met several of our English ships returning from an expedition to Portugal, which we relieved with victuals. The 13th July, being in sight of the coast of Spain in lat. 39 deg. N. we descried eleven ships, on which we immediately prepared to engage them, sending the Meg commanded by Captain Monson to ascertain what and whence they