MoboReader> Literature > England under the Tudors

   Chapter 23 No.23

England under the Tudors By Arthur D. Innes Characters: 32412

Updated: 2017-11-29 00:05


ELIZABETH (viii), 1558-87-THE SEAMEN

As before we postponed the story of Ireland, in order to give a consecutive narrative down to the point at which the interaction of Irish and English affairs became marked and definite, so we have hitherto deferred consideration of the most tremendous factor in the Elizabethan evolution, the development of the Island nation into the greatest Ocean Power in the world. The charter of the Queen of the Seas was drawn by the Tudor seamen, and received its seal when the great Armada perished. It is time therefore to see how it came about that England was able to challenge and to shatter the Power which threatened to dominate the world.

[Sidenote: The New World]

Throughout the Middle Ages, until what we conveniently term, from the English point of view, the Tudor Period, the European peoples were confined to the European Continent and the adjacent islands. In Asia and in Mediterranean Africa the Mohammedan races were a militant barrier to expansion. The discoveries of Columbus and Vasco da Gama opened new fields, whereof the inheritance was destined to the nations who should achieve the dominion of the Ocean. Always important, the capacity for maritime development now became the primary condition of ultimate greatness. The fact was at the first recognised by Spain and Portugal; and an immediate incentive was given to those two Powers, and something of a check to the rest, when Pope Alexander VI., with an authority as yet unchallenged, divided between them the newly found countries and the lands still to be discovered. Acquiescence in the award was limited; with the ecclesiastical revolt from Rome it vanished; but Spaniards and Portuguese were already in full possession of vast territories before their exclusive title to the whole was called in question.

[Sidenote: The English Marine before Elizabeth]

Nevertheless, more than before, the eyes of statesmen were turned to the sea and the eyes of merchants to the ocean. The nucleus of a Royal Navy was formed by Henry VII., and his son very greatly increased the number of the King's ships and built many tall vessels. The merchants of Bristol and the western ports made daring voyages in hitherto unexplored and half-explored waters, as we have seen; while the general activity of the mercantile marine was greatly increased.

Prosperity, and as a necessary result, enterprise, suffered a check under the disastrous financial conditions prevalent in the reigns of Edward and Mary; yet the closing months of Edward's reign had been marked by the departure of the expedition of Willoughby and Chancellor in search of a North-East Passage; while several voyages to the Guinea Coast-whither William Hawkins had sailed in Henry's day-were undertaken by John Lock and Towerson, during the reign of Mary. We have seen also how the young hot-heads of Protestantism had taken to privateering in the Channel, in the name of Patriotism and true Religion. That course was reprehensible enough; but it led at least to the cultivation of the art of seamanship. On the other hand, that art suffered from a curious draw-back. The partial cessation of the practice of fasting which accompanied the development of Protestantism reacted on the fishing trade, which was the regular school of sailors; insomuch that not only Somerset but Cecil in Elizabeth's time, proposed ordinances in favour of fasting, simply and solely to check the collapse of that industry.

[Sidenote: The Royal Navy]

The Royal Navy developed by Henry VIII. was allowed perforce to decay under his two immediate successors. According to the most authentic lists, [Footnote: Sir W. Laird Clowes, The Royal Navy, vol. i., pp. 419 ff. Throughout this chapter, the figures for tonnage are adopted from this work.] in 1548 there were 53 ships in the Fleet, with a total tonnage of about 11,000. In 1558 there were but 26, with a tonnage of little more than 7,000. During the first half of Elizabeth's reign, the numbers were not increased; in 1575 there were but 24 vessels; but the tonnage had risen 50 per cent., and was within 10 per cent, of what Henry had bequeathed to Edward. When the Armada came, in the twenty-ninth year of Elizabeth's reign, 34 ships of the Royal Navy were engaged, which had a slight superiority [Footnote: Clowes, Royal Navy, i., p. 561.] of armament over any equal number of the enemy's fleet. The aggregate tonnage is given [Footnote: Ibid., p. 588.] as 15 per cent. more than that of Henry's 53-an average per ship of very nearly double. It is clear therefore that the policy of strengthening the navy was not neglected; but it took the form of acquiring not more ships, but larger and better fighting craft. [Footnote: Corbett, Drake and the Tudor Navy, i., pp. 370 ff. It is pointed out (p. 372) that medium sized ships were regarded as better weapons in general than those of the largest size.] The multiplication of smaller craft would have been a far less effective means for achieving the desired end. The Royal Navy, a creation of the century, was not supposed to constitute the naval defences of the country. It occupied a position among the marine fighting force analogous to that of our white troops in India to-day; who form only one-third of the army there while reckoned and intended to be its mainstay.

[Sidenote: Privateering]

It is possible that in the simple legitimate processes of trade, the merchant captains would never have learnt the art of extracting every ounce of value out of their ships as fighting machines; certainly they would not have developed the very marked supremacy in gunnery which was so decisive a feature in the contest with Spain. The mere temptations of successful barter would not have sufficed to attract the fiery and alert young gentlemen of Devon or elsewhere, and the daring mariners who revelled in meeting and overcoming any apparent odds. But the circumstances of the time presented to the men, who in other days would have found no outlet for their energies but in land-service abroad, the opportunity of giving those energies a wider scope in the more exacting but also more inspiring service by sea: where richer prizes were to be won, with greater risk no doubt, but risk which called every faculty of manhood into vigorous play.

[Sidenote: Piracy?]

It has become the common practice to apply the term "piracy" at large to the doings of the Elizabethan seamen; but a single category which embraces Captain Kidd and Francis Drake ceases to imply any very specific condemnation. The suggestion that their acts were on the same moral plane is absurd. The "piracy" of the great Elizabethans was compatible with a clean conscience. At the present day we rightly account a man a murderer who slays another in his own private quarrel; but we do not give that name to one who two centuries ago killed his man in a duel. We decline to recognise the validity of the reasoning by which men justified such acts to themselves; but before the fallacy in that reasoning was understood, the degree of guilt involved in acting upon it was something very different from what it would be to-day. In the same way, a century ago honourable and honest men countenanced smuggling; but we do not classify them with footpads. Yet a similar confusion of thought is involved in this indiscriminate application of the term piracy, unless we emphasize the fact that in this connexion it must be divested of its ordinary moral connotation.

Plain sea-robbers there were, not a few, who had no compunction about seizing and looting any vessel of any nationality except-for politic reasons-their own. The records show clearly enough that there were plenty of these, who found harbourage in the Scillies or on the Irish Coast, or even on the English Channel, or would lie in wait to cut out peaceable traders of any nation almost at the mouth of the Thames. The Government took little enough pains to repress them. They did not attack their own countrymen, and were a useful source for recruiting: but they were indisputably Pirates.

[Sidenote: Volunteers]

Then there were the privateers who had a colour for their depredations; professedly volunteers on the side of recognised belligerents. As it was considered legitimate for troops of English volunteers to fight for the revolted Netherland States, while the Government refused to acknowledge that their doing so constituted an act of war against Spain; so Englishmen were allowed to man ships and sail under the flag of the Huguenots of Rochelle, carrying a commission to wage war on "Papist" ships, French, or others regarded as in alliance with them. This was not piracy in the accepted sense, though it was not perhaps very far removed from it in the majority of cases. The kind of fanaticism which, two hundred years after Elizabeth's accession, elevated Frederick the Great into "the Protestant Hero" could easily, without conscious insincerity, make Religion an excuse for spoiling the Papists in Elizabeth's day; and the privateers who looted a Spanish vessel or one carrying Spanish treasure or merchandise believed as a rule that they were thereby laying up treasure in Heaven as well as on Earth, Their Ethics were derived from the Old Testament; and they looked upon the "Idolaters" very much as the Israelites were told by the prophets to look upon the Philistines, or Amalek, or Ammon.

[Sidenote: Reprisal]

Moreover it must be borne in mind that as concerned the raiding of Spanish ships, the Government balanced the injury done against the grievances of the British sailors and ships seized in Spanish ports by the Inquisition. So long as the Spanish King refused to interfere with the jurisdiction of the Holy Office, the English Queen in effect refused to interfere with acts of reprisal. If these rovers could have been caught and hanged at the yard-arm, she could hardly have protested; but as breaches of international amity the practices were very much on a par. In the technical sense, that they made war on their own account on the ships of a theoretically friendly Power, the rovers of this class were no doubt pirates; what we have to recognise is that the normal condition of affairs was one unknown to the law-books, a state of quasi-war; having no little resemblance to that prevalent for centuries on the Anglo-Scottish border, where it was not to be expected that the Wardens of the Marches on the one side would carry out their duties while the Wardens on the other side were neglecting theirs with the connivance of the Government. And in this case, Philip's connivance at the proceedings of the Inquisition was open and avowed; by consequence, the English Government refused to treat the proceedings of the privateers as piracy; and again by consequence the privateers considered themselves to be acting in a perfectly legitimate, not to say laudable, manner, in treating the enemy's commerce precisely as they would have done under a state of declared war.

No doubt the desire of plunder was usually a stronger incentive than either retaliation or religion. Privateering was not per se admirable or praiseworthy. But it was something entirely different from what we understand by Piracy pure and simple. And manifestly it provided a very excellent and efficient school for the sons of a nation which was about to challenge the Colossus of the South for the title to the Empire of the Seas.

[Sidenote: The Explorers]

But while privateering bred in numbers men who knew how to handle and fight their ships, something more was needed to produce a race of great captains; something which was provided by the vast fields opened to exploration. Here was to be found the necessary training in calculated daring, in conquering seemingly impossible obstacles, in defying apparently insurmountable dangers, in rising to overwhelming emergencies, in learning to a nicety what it was possible for seamanship to accomplish.

[Endnote: Spain in America]

At the opening of Elizabeth's reign, Spain and Portugal were practically and theoretically in possession of the inheritance of the explorers and the Conquistadores. The latter Power held complete sway on the African Guinea Coast, and in the Indian Ocean, undisturbed by European rivals; while the Pope had bestowed upon it so much of the New World as lies East of the mouth of the Amazon-in effect, what lies behind the coast-line of Brazil. All that lies west of the mouth of the Amazon he had bestowed upon Spain; and this gift the swords of Spaniards had made good. In the West India Islands, their head-quarters were the Island and port of San Domingo (Hayti). From Florida, north, to the mouth of the Amazon, south, all was Spanish territory. On the Atlantic coast: Mexico had Vera Cruz with its haven of San Juan d'Ulloa; on Darien was Nombre de Dios; on the Tierra Firma known to the English as the Spanish Main lay Cartagena and several other ports of varying importance. On the Pacific coast, the most notable spots were Panama, the port whither came the treasure ships from Peru to transport their stores by land to Nombre de Dios; Lima, the great city of Peru, which had its port of Callao; and further south the town of Santiago and the harbour of Valparaiso. The straits of Magellan, the only known entry for ships to the Pacific from the Atlantic, were deemed virtually impassable, while Tierra del Fuego was supposed to be the head of another Continent extending continuously to the south. In all these regions, the Spaniard claimed an absolute monopoly, and the right of excluding foreign vessels and foreign trade from what he regarded as Spanish waters.

It is chiefly with transactions on these seas and territories that we are concerned, in giving some account of the rovers, who first in their private capacity challenged the power of Spain, and then led the English fleets to their triumph over the "Invincible" Armada.

[Sidenote: John Hawkins's early voyages, 1562-1566]

First on the roll stands the name of John Hawkins-greatest of the "sea-dogs" till his fame was surpassed by the mightiest of all, Francis Drake. In Henry's day his father, old William Hawkins, had won high repute, for himself as a sailor and for his countrymen as honourable dealers, by his voyages to the Guinea coast, where the Portuguese were in very evil odour, and to the Brazils. John Hawkins fell as far behind his father in the latter respect as he surpassed him in the former: for he was responsible for initiating the Slave-trade. His first notable voyage was made in 1562, when he sailed to the Guinea coast, purchased or kidnapped from the African chiefs some three hundred negroes, crossed the Ocean, and sold them to the Spaniards in Hayti (or Hispaniola). In 1564 he sailed again with four ships; but on reaching America he was told at Rio de La Hacha and Cartagena that the traffic was forbidden. The Englishmen, however, held that these regulations were invalid, as a contravention of ancient treaty rights of free trade with the Spanish dominions. The Spaniards for their part were willing enough to find an excuse for transgressing their orders, which was given by a slight display of force; and Hawkins came home again with large profits, after visiting Florida where there were Huguenot settlers, and Newfoundland where fishing fleets of all nations congregated. It is noteworthy that while the Queen herself and sundry of her courtiers had a large pecuniary interest in these ventures of Hawkins, Cecil conscientiously declined to have part or lot in them, now or later: lawlessness being to him a thing abominable.

Philip was naturally indignant at the Englishman's method of overriding his trade regulations, and Hawkins had to lie quiet for a time; but in 1567 he sailed for the third time, taking with him his young cousin Francis Drake.

[Sidenote: San Juan d'Ulloa 1567]

For a while all went well. The Spaniards wanted to buy in spite of the regulations; though at Rio de La Hacha Hawkins had to emphasise the advantages of trading with him by seizing the town in force. But when he started for home, contrary winds and storms compelled him to put back to the Mexic

an port of San Juan d'Ulloa (Vera Cruz) to refit his three vessels. He was well received; but while he was in harbour, a Spanish fleet of thirteen sail arrived. The entry was narrow, and Hawkins could have held them at bay; but his theory was that he was behaving in a perfectly regular and well-conducted manner. For three days there was a peaceful interchange of courtesies; then without warning the Spaniards attacked him. Two of his ships succeeded in escaping, despite the heavy odds against them, taking a number of survivors from the third. But next day they parted company; Hawkins's ship was terribly overcrowded; a hundred of his men, by their own desire, were landed-to fall into the hands of the Inquisition; and Hawkins and Drake finally reached England separately with a remnant of their crews, and the loss of all that had been gained in the first stages of the venture.

[Sidenote: Francis Drake]

Now the Spaniards manifestly had a very good case for arresting Hawkins on the ground of his overriding forcibly the regulations which they were, in their own view at least, entitled to make: but they had chosen to receive him hospitably and attempt his capture by flagrant treachery. When his men fell into their hands, they might have been tried as participators in his lawlessness; but the crime laid to their charge was heresy. It is small wonder then that the feeling inspired by the affair of San Juan d'Ulloa was: first, that the Inquisition, claiming itself to be above international law, was outside international law, a tyranny which should be fought without regard to law: second, that Spain had no more right to the wealth of the New World than any one else; third, that since in the New World she elected to rule not by legal methods but by the high hand, it was legitimate to ignore law in dealing with her. There and then Francis Drake, now twenty-seven years old, made up his mind that he would for his own hand wage war on Spain and the Inquisition in the New World. If to do so was piracy, Drake resolved to become a pirate. But he assuredly did not conceive himself to be a pirate; nor were his motives the same; and his methods were utterly unstained by the blood-thirstiness and cruelty inseparably associated with the title. He was rather an Ocean knight-errant, smiting and spoiling, and incidentally enriching himself, but in knightly fashion and for a great cause: not a miscellaneous robber, but a scourge of the enemies of his country and his faith.

[Sidenote: The Venture of 1572]

Drake laid his plans with care and deliberation, making two more voyages in small vessels to the West Indies to acquire thorough knowledge and information, before starting on the first of his great expeditions. Then in 1572, some months before the rapprochement with Spain which followed St. Bartholomew, he sailed for the Spanish Main; his whole force consisting of three small ships of a burden ranging from 25 to 70 tons [Footnote: Royal Navy, i., p. 621.] with picked crews numbering in all 111 men. With this small company, arriving by night, he fell suddenly upon Nombre de Dios, a principal port of embarkation on the Isthmus of Darien. The surprise was not complete, and though the resistance of the Spaniards was overcome and a large capture of silver ingots was effected, Drake himself was somewhat severely wounded. One of the ships went home; the other two with the commander remained, and took several prizes. But this did not satisfy him, and he conceived the daring scheme of landing and crossing the Isthmus, to intercept the trains of treasure on their way overland from Panama. In February he got, from a tree-top, his first sight of the Pacific. He succeeded in ambushing a small train of mules laden with gold, and, on his way back, another large one laden with silver. Then where he expected to meet his own ships he found a Spanish squadron; but undaunted by this ill-fortune, reached the shore undiscovered, improvised a raft, put to sea, found his own ships, and returned to Plymouth a rich man: having won golden opinions from the Cimmaroons- escaped slaves of the district-from the contrast between the English and the Spanish methods of treating them.

[Sidenote: 1575 John Oxenham]

This was but the precursor of that most famous of his voyages which made his name more terrible to the Spaniards than that of John Hawkins had ever been. More than four years, however, elapsed before that expedition started; and in the interval one of his lieutenants, John Oxenham in 1575 undertook his own disastrous venture, [Footnote: The details of his story are familiar to all readers of Westward Ho.] which well illustrates the boldness of conception and audacity of execution that characterise the Elizabethan seamen. His plan was a development of Drake's Darien exploit. On reaching the Isthmus, he hid his ship and guns, crossed the mountains as Drake had done, built himself a pinnace, and first of all Englishmen sailed on the Pacific. He captured two treasure-ships, which of course had never dreamed of meeting a hostile vessel; but allowed the crews to depart. Naturally a force was soon in pursuit. Oxenham, with a fourth of their numbers, attacked them: half his men were killed in the fight, and nearly all the rest including Oxenham himself were put to death. Drake had already started before the news reached England.

[Sidenote: Drake's great voyage, 1577]

In December 1577 Drake sailed from Plymouth with five ships; himself on board the largest, the Pelican, of 100 tons. His purpose was to invade the Pacific by the straits of Magellan. Therefore, after touching at the Cape Verde Islands, he made not for the Spanish Main but for Patagonia. Here at Port St. Julian occurred the famous episode of the execution of Thomas Doughty, [Footnote: See the examination of the authorities and the evidence in Corbett, Drake and the Tudor Navy, i., ch. viii.] on charges which may be summed up as those of treason and incitement to mutiny, wherewith was apparently mixed up a conviction on Drake's part that Doughty exercised witch-craft to bring on bad weather. It is not improbable at least that Doughty was really acting in the interests of that party in England which was opposed to the whole policy of the raid, and believed that he would have at his back Lord Burghley, from whom the objects of the expedition were supposed, erroneously, to be a secret. The Straits were reached at the end of August; but were scarcely passed when a storm parted the ships. John Winter, Drake's second in command, after waiting some while, gave his consorts up for lost and returned home. The Pelican, which Drake had re-christened the Golden Hind, alone remained to carry on the adventurous voyage. The precise course taken by the ships in the storms at this time is uncertain: but it seems clear that in some way or other Drake obtained satisfactory evidence that Tierra del Fuego was only an island, and that the Pacific could be reached by rounding Cape Horn. [Footnote: State Papers, Spanish, iii., p. 341. See also Corbett, i., pp. 269, 270.]

[Sidenote: Drake in the Pacific, 1578]

In due time then, when there seemed to be no more prospect of being rejoined by Winter, the Pelican proceeded on its expedition. In December, Drake astonished Valparaiso by sailing in and seizing a prize and stores: no one had dreamed of an English ship in the Pacific. Thence he proceeded, exploring the coast, and creating general alarm, till he reached Callao, the port of Lima; where he secured a prize, with which he started in pursuit of a great treasure ship known as the Cacafuego, which he learnt had sailed a few days before. A couple of ships were sent after him; so he cleared out his prize, left it adrift for his pursuers to recover, and showed them a clean pair of heels. After a long pursuit, and the capture of more minor prizes-which he let go, after taking what he wanted, leaving intact the private property of those on board-he overtook the Cacafuego, securing an immense treasure and some exceedingly useful charts.

[Sidenote 1: Drake in the Northern Pacific 1579]

[Sidenote 2: The return, 1580]

Satisfied, after securing two more prizes, with the damage done to Spain, and the rich spoils collected, he turned his attention to geographical discoveries; for in passing Magellan's Strait he had had two predecessors, but none in the northern regions which he had now reached. Finding harbourage on the Californian coast, he repaired the Pelican thoroughly, and then proceeded on a voyage of circumnavigation; the spring of 1579 being now well advanced. His first idea was to look for that imagined North East Passage, in the search for which Willoughby had lost his life nearly five and twenty years before: and with this object in view he sailed some hundreds of miles further North than any explorers in the Pacific had hitherto gone. Coming, however, to the conclusion that he was not equipped for such a venture as this promised to be, he again returned to California to refit. There he established most friendly relations with the natives, who were anxious to deify him: and thence he started again to find his way across the Pacific to the Cape of Good Hope. After much intricate and dangerous navigation among the Spice Islands-in the course of which Drake made a treaty with the Sultan of Ternate, and the Pelican was all but lost on a reef-she rounded the Cape in January, sailing into Plymouth Sound on September 26th, 1580, a little less than three years from the day when she began her voyage. Drake was the first commander who conducted a circumnavigation from start to finish. His precursors had died on the voyage, and left their ships to be brought home by subordinates.

Luckily perhaps for Drake, he arrived just at the time when Philip's subjects were aiding the Irish rebellion; and the English Queen could claim that her great subject had been doing to Spain nothing so bad as what Philip was countenancing in Ireland. Burghley alone refused to have part or lot in the profits of what he held to be a lawless exploit, but the rigid Walsingham applauded. Drake was knighted, and his name was on every lip. More than that, the whole performance imbued English sailors with an un-conquerable conviction that they were more than a match for all the maritime power of Spain, and with an ardent longing to put that conviction to the proof. Drake was the idol not only of every seaman who had sailed under him, but of the entire English People.

Hawkins after 1567 and Drake after 1580 made no more great voyages for their own hand. Hawkins, a past master in all that concerned ships and shipping, was presently appointed Treasurer and practically controller of the Royal Navy, and brought the Queen's ships to a high pitch of perfection. Drake became, practically if not nominally, the first of the Queen's admirals. Both, with two more among the explorers of whom we have still to speak, were to play leading parts in the fight with the Armada.

[Sidenote: Various Voyages, 1576-88]

Of these two, the more famous is Martin Frobisher, who in the early sixties was one of the captains who made war on Philip's ships in the English Channel. Between 1576 and 1578, he made three voyages in search of the North West Passage-accompanied on two of them by the second explorer referred to, Edward Fenton-visiting Greenland and exploring Frobisher's Strait. [Footnote: Now known to be not a Strait but a Bay.] The ships with which he made the first voyage were of no more than 25 and 20 tons [Footnote: Royal Navy, i., p. 624.] respectively. In 1582 Fenton captained another expedition, which seems to have been intended for Magellan but got no further than the Brazils, returning after a successful engagement with some Spanish ships. Another circumnavigation was accomplished by Thomas Cavendish (1586-8), who wrought great damage to the Spanish settlements, burning as well as looting, and brought home considerable spoils; but this expedition was undertaken when England and Spain were technically at war.

Just before Cavendish sailed, John Davis, second to no English explorer save Drake, commenced his series of Arctic voyages, learned much of ice-navigation, and on the third voyage in 1587 discovered Davis' Strait. These Arctic expeditions were of course quite unconnected with the Spanish struggle; but while they exemplified the magnificent spirit of English sailors, they also materially advanced English seamanship.

[Sidenote: Raleigh]

In these years preceding the Armada, there were those who, not content with adventure and exploration by sea, made the first tentative efforts from which in after days was to spring the vast colonial dominion of Britain. There was hardly one of these enterprises which was not directly due to the initiative, the exertions, and the persistence of Walter Raleigh. Others no doubt took their share, whether moved by his arguments or in a miscellaneous spirit of adventure; but Raleigh's was the vision of a New England beyond the seas; a goal to dream of and to strive for through weary years of failure and disappointment: an ideal which appealed at once to an intellect among the keenest and an imagination among the boldest of a time which abounded in keen intellects and bold imaginations.

[Sidenote: Gilbert]

As early as 1578, when he was but six and twenty, Raleigh took part in one such abortive venture, along with his half-brother the enthusiast and dreamer Humphrey Gilbert: the same man whose paradoxical barbarity in Ireland [Footnote: See p. 311, ante.] we have already noticed: a barbarity very difficult at first sight to reconcile with the high chivalrous spirit, the odd sentimentality, and the fundamental piety which, besides his absolutely fearless courage, characterised Sir Humphrey in a degree only a little more marked than numbers of his contemporaries. A few years later, in 1583, Gilbert made his second disastrous attempt to establish a colony in "Norumbega," the name given to a vague region in the Northern parts of North America. Five ships sailed. The attempt was a complete failure, and on the return voyage Sir Humphrey went down with the little Squirrel, the smallest of his ships, which foundered with all hands. The last time a consort was within hail, he greeted her with the natural expression of his faithful and courageous soul-"we are as near God by sea as by land". The story is worth pausing over, for it is supremely characteristic. We may call these men what we will; they persuaded themselves of the righteousness of acts which shock an age in some respects more sensitive; but they wrought mightily for England, and a main source of their triumphs was their trust in the God whose cause they identified with their own, a faith which was a living, impelling, force.

[Sidenote: Virginia]

Raleigh had not accompanied the expedition though he was one of the promoters. In the following year he dispatched an expedition for exploration and settlement in Norumbega, which took possession of a district in what is now Carolina, naming it Virginia in honour of the Virgin Queen. Thither, again on an expedition of Raleigh's, went Sir Richard Grenville with Ralph Lane and others a year later (1585). Lane remained with a company of a hundred men at Roanoake; Grenville accomplished a characteristic feat of arms against a Spaniard on his way home. But when after another year Raleigh sent succours to his colony, the company was found to have withdrawn, having been taken off by Drake's flotilla after he had accomplished his raid on Cartagena. [Footnote: see p.334, ante.] Grenvilie however, reappearing, left a small party. In 1587 Raleigh sent again; Grenville's party had vanished, but a new colony was left. Twice again he sent, in 1590 and in 1602, but both times without success. The colonists, except some half dozen, had been massacred. The path to Empire is whitened by the bones of the Pioneers. In the reign of the Virgin Queen, the attempt to colonise Virginia failed utterly; but the failure was the precursor of ultimate triumph. The United States owe their being to Sir Walter Raleigh.

Free to Download MoboReader
(← Keyboard shortcut) Previous Contents (Keyboard shortcut →)
 Novels To Read Online Free

Scan the QR code to download MoboReader app.

Back to Top

shares