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.
of the vessel, each laying hold on what came first to hand, but to no purpose.  The sea was so high and furious, that all were drowned, except fourteen or fifteen who saved themselves by swimming, with their legs and arms half broken and sore hurt.  Among these was the Dutch masters son and four other Dutch boys; all the rest of the Spaniards and sailors, with captain and master, being drowned.  What heart so hard as not to melt at so grievous a sight, especially considering the beastly and ignorant insolence of the Spaniards?  From this instance, it may be conceived how the other ships sped, as we indeed partly beheld, and were informed by those few who were saved, some of whom were our countrymen.

On the other islands the loss was no less than at Tercera, two ships were cast away on the island of St George; two on Pico; three on Graciosa.  Besides those, there were seen everywhere round about, many pieces of broken ships and other things, floating towards the islands, with which the sea was everywhere covered, most pitiful to behold.  Four ships were cast away on the island of St Michael, and three more were sunk between Tercera and St Michael, from which not one man was saved, though they were seen and heard to cry out for aid.  All the rest were dismasted and driven out to sea, all torn and rent; so that of the whole armada and merchant ships, 140 in all, only 32 or 33 arrived in Spain and Portugal, and these with great pain, misery and labour, not any two together, but this day one, to-morrow another, and next day a third.  All the rest were cast away about the Azores islands, or foundered at sea, whereby may be judged what loss was incurred; as the loss was esteemed greater by many, than had been sustained in the great armada that went against England.  It may very well be considered that this terrible disaster was a just judgment of God against the Spaniards; and it may truly be said that the taking of the Revenge was justly revenged against them, not by the force of men, but by the power of God.  Some of the people in Tercera said openly, that they verily believed God would consume them, and that he had taken part with the Lutherans and heretics.  They alleged farther, that so soon as they had thrown the body of Sir Richard Grenville overboard, they verily believed, as he had a devilish faith and religion, therefore all the devils loved him:  For he instantly sunk to the bottom of the sea, and down into hell, where he raised up all the devils to revenge his death; and that they brought these great storms and tempests upon the Spaniards, because they only maintained the Catholic and true Romish religion.  Such and the like blasphemies did they utter openly and continually, without being reproved of any one for their false opinions.

Of their fleet which sailed from New Spain, 50 in all, 35 were cast away or foundered at sea, so that 15 only escaped.  Of the San Domingo fleet, 14 were cast away coming through the channel from Havannah, the admiral and vice-admiral being of the number.  Two ships, coming from the Terra Firma, laden with gold and silver, were taken by the English; and before the fleet under Don Alonso de Bacan came to Corvo, at the least 20 ships, coming from San Domingo, India, Brazil, &c. had been taken at different times by the English, all of which were sent to England.

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