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.
the Crescent; the ninth the Elizabeth; the tenth the Richard belonging to Mr Duffield.  All these ships, being of notable and approved service, and coming near the mouth of the Straits hard by the coast of Barbary, they descried twelve tall gallies bravely furnished, and strongly provided with men and ammunition of war, ready to intercept and seize them.  Being perceived by our captains and masters, we made speedy preparation for our defence, waiting the whole night for the approach of the enemy.

[Footnote 369:  Hakluyt, II. 660.]

Next morning early, being Tuesday in Easter week, the 24th of April 1590, we had service according to our usual custom, praying to Almighty God to save us from the hands of the tyrannous Spaniards, whom we justly imagined and had always found to be our most mortal enemies on the sea.  Having finished our prayers, and set ourselves in readiness, we perceived them coming towards us, and knew them indeed to be the Spanish gallies, commanded by Andrea Doria, viceroy for the king of Spain in the Straits of Gibraltar, and a notable enemy to all Englishmen.  When they came near us, they waved us amain for the king of Spain, and in return we waved them amain for the Queen of England[370]; at which time it pleased the Almighty so to encourage our hearts, that the nearer they came we the less feared their great strength and huge number of men; they having to the amount of two or three hundred in each galley.  It was concluded among us, that our four largest and tallest ships should be placed in the rear, the weaker and smaller ships going foremost; and so it was performed, every one of us being ready to take part in such successes as it should please God to send.

[Footnote 370:  This waving amain seems to have been some salutation of defiance, then usual at sea.—­E.]

The gallies came upon us very fiercely at the first encounter, yet God so strengthened us that, even if they had been ten times more, we had not feared them at all.  The Salomon, being a hot ship with sundry cast pieces in her, gave the first shot in so effectual a manner on their headmost galley, that it shared away so many of the men that sat on one side of her, and pierced her through and through, insomuch that she was ready to sink:  Yet they assaulted us the more fiercely.  Then the rest of our ships, especially the four chiefest, the Salomon, Margaret and John, Minion, and the Ascension, gave a hot charge upon them, and they on us, commencing a hot and fierce battle with great valour on both sides, which continued for the space of six hours.  About the commencement of this fight, our fleet was joined by two Flemish vessels.  Seeing the great force of the gallies, one of these presently struck his sails and yielded to the enemy; whereas, had they exerted themselves on our side and in their own defence, they needed not to have been taken in this cowardly manner.  The other was ready also to have yielded immediately, and began to lower his sails:  But the trumpeter of that ship drew his faulcion, and stepping up to the pilot at the helm, vowed that he would put him instantly to death, if he did not join and take part with the English fleet:  This he did, for fear of death, and by that means they were defended from the tyranny which they had otherwise assuredly found among the Spaniards.

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