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Minion, the rest falling victims to the cruelty of the foe.
The Spanish fleet suffered greatly in the action. The admiral and vice-admiral were rendered unfit for service, and four other ships were totally destroyed. Of the English, the Minion, crowded with hands from the Jesus and some of the other ships, remained at sea, in want of provisions and water for their numerous complement till the eighth of October, 1569, when they entered a creek in the bay of Mexico in search of refreshments. This was near the mouth of the river Tampico, and here upward of a hundred of the crew requested to be put on shore, preferring the doubtful result of barbarian hospitality * to the apparent certainty of perishing by famine before the ship could reach a friendly port.
Captain Hawkins with the remainder of his men, consisting likewise of about one hundred, sailed through the Gulf of Florida about the latter end of October; and after incurring the risk of being seized at a Spanish port, which they were obliged to enter for provisions, got safe to Vigo, where they met with
* These unhappy people endured every species of human misery. A few of them were killed, and others wounded, by the Indians on their march up the country; but when the savages found they were not Spaniards, they treated them kindly, and directed them to the port of Tampico. Here, they divided; and the major part unfortunately marching westward fell into the hand of the governors of different Spanish settlements, by whom they were inhumanly treated and sold to slavery. Some were burnt, and others tortured, as heretics; and out of sixty-five persons, we have no certain account of the return of any to their native country, except that of Job Hortop gunner of the Jesus, who after a long imprisonment in the dungeons of the Inquisition arrived in England in 1590, having endured incredible hardships for twenty-three years.
jome English, ships. From them they received full supplies, and in January, 1570, reached their native Shore; Hawkins having suffered greatly in his fortune by the loss of his merchandise, and his companions having saved nothing but their lives.
To indemnify him for his fatigues, Elizabeth promoted him to an office at home, admirably suited to his capacity: he was in 1573 made Treasurer of the Navy. In virtue of this post, which gave him the chief direction of the royal docks, he exerted himself to keep the marine upon a respectable footing; more ships being built and repaired during his exercise of the function, than had ever been known in England within the same period. It was, likewise, part of his duty to take the command of squadrons fitted out for the purpose of clearing the narrow seas of pirates: and this he discharged so effectually, that the merchants returned him their formal thanks for the protection afforded to commercial navigation, in 1575.
From this time to the year 1588, nothing memorable is recorded concerning him, except an accident, which occurred as he was walking in the Strand. A lunatic,* mistaking him for Sir Christopher Hatton, suddenly stabbed him in the back. He recovered, however, to bear a glorious part in the memorable engagement with the Armada; in which, as RearAdmiral, he chased the flying Spaniards with such success, that the Queen publicly applauded his con
* This desperate wretch was committed to the Tower, where he killed his keeper with a billet brought to him for firing; and being tried and condemned for the murther, he was executed in the Strand near the place where he had wounded Captain Hawkins.
duct, and conferred upon him the honour of knighthood.
The war continuing, a grand expedition was meditated to annoy the coasts of Spain, and at the same time to defray the expenses and reward the valour of the enterprise by intercepting the Plate-fleet. An armament of ten ships of the line was fitted out for these purposes, and divided into two squadrons of five Sail each, with instructions to act in concert, though each squadron had a separate commander. Upon this occasion, Sir Martin Frobisher * was joined in commission with Sir John Hawkins.
* Sir Martin Frobisher, a native of Yorkshire, had been put apprentice by his parents (who were of low degree) to the master of a coasting-vessel, and was distinguished early in life as an able seaman. He subsequently obtained recommendations to Ambrose Dudley, Earl of Warwick, who with other persons of rank and fortune patronised an enterprise, which Frobisher had long meditated, of discovering a north-west passage to the EastIndies. Being provided with three small vessels at the expense' of his patrons, he sailed from Deptford in 1576, and in 61" N. lat. discovered high points of land covered with snow; but he was not able to approach the shore on account of the quantity of ice, and the impossibility of casting anchor from the depth of the water. He gave the title of 'Queen Elizabeth's Foreland,* however, to the eastern promontory of the coast.
In the month of August, he entered the Straits lying to the northward of Cape Farewell and West-Greenland, in 63° N. lat.; these he named 'Frobisher's Straits,' and so they still continue to be called. But his endeavours to open an intercourse with the natives on the coast proved unsuccessful, the Indians seizing his men and his boats; and having either by storms or hostilities lost two of his vessels, he returned to England in the October following. Though the chief object of his voyage however remained unaccomplished, the discovery of the situation of these places proved highly beneficial to later navigators.
Frobisher in two subsequent voyages (in 1577, and 1578) with great perseverance attempted to approach nearer to the North
The King of Spain, gaining early intelligence of the strength and destination of this armament, at first proposed to oppose it with a more formidable fleet; but his council judiciously concluding that Elizabeth, with her powerful navy, would speedily reinforce her two admirals if she found it requisite, advised the sending of expresses overland to India, to order the Plate-fleet to remain in port. Thus circumstanced, the English commanders cruized off the Azores for seven months without taking a single ship. At
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Pole; but being the first adventurer, his observations (as it frequently happens) served rather for instructions to his successors, than as monuments of his own reputation. . His unpolished manners, indeed, might probably intercept the good fortune, which he had promised himself in these enterprises; for he was extremely rigid in his discipline, and more dreaded than beloved by his followers. With this cast of temper, his success was more signal in military conflicts, than in attempts to traffic, or to establish a friendly communication with the nations he visited. Accordingly, he distinguished himself against the Spanish Armada, and was knighted on the recommendation of the Lord Admiral in 1588.
In 1592, he commanded a squadron of three ships, fitted out at the expense of Sir Walter Ralegh and his friends, with instructions to watch the arrival of the Plate-fleet on the coast of Spain; upon which occasion he burned one galleon richly laden, and brought home another.
Two years afterward the Queen sent him to assist Henry IV. of France against his rebellious subjects the Leaguers and the Spaniards, who had gained possession of part of Bretagne, and had strongly fortified themselves at Croyzon near Brest. Frobisher with four ships of the line blocked up the port, while Sir John Norris with 3,000 infantry attacked the place by land; which, however, would not have been carried, unless the Admiral had landed his sailors to aid in the assault. In this struggle, Frobisher received a musket-ball in his side, and by the mismanagement of the surgeon the wound proving mortal, he died a few days after his arrival at Plymouth.
last, determined to attempt some signal action, they attacked the island of Fayal: but the governor being well provided with every necessary, they were obliged to retire with some loss, both of men and of reputation; in consequence of which, on their return home, they were only coolly received by a people, who are seldom struck except with brilliant achievements. The intentions of the court however being in a great measure answered by confining the hostile squadrons to their harbours, and preventing the arrival of the Platefleet in Spain, which occasioned bankruptcies among her merchants, they underwent no diminution in the esteem of their Sovereign.
The most arduous enterprise, in which Sir John Hawkins was engaged, proved fatal to him. An armament, under the joint command of himself and Drake, was fitted out in the year 1595 to attack the Spanish settlements in the West-Indies; and, contrary to his advice, much time was lost in an unsuccessful attack upon the chief of the Canary Islands.* Being the oldest commander, he was not a little chagrined at finding his judgement over-ruled; and his resentment against his collegues was increased, when it was discovered, that in consequence of this fruitless attempt, the Spaniards had been enabled to put their chief fortresses in a proper state of defence. At Dominica, likewise, the seamen and the troops wasted a considerable time in taking in provisions, and preparing pinnaces to sail close to the harbour of Porto Rico. In this interval, the Spaniards sent five large frigates well manned to bring off the galleon: these, on their way, fell in with the rear of the diyi
• See the Life of Drake.