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discussions of such important subjects as the real causes of the war between Spain and England, the truth of the charges of mischievous parsimony so often brought against Elizabeth, the treatment of English residents in the Spanish dominions, and the relative effective strength of the contending fleets. On all of these Professor Laughton has thrown new light, and after a candid examination of his statements it will not be easy to maintain that the opinions hitherto received are justified. To these matters we shall return in the course of our notice of the more interesting of the State papers. The latter part of the second volume is taken up with a series of valuable appendices, amongst which the editor, with admirable judgement, has included a translation of the Duke of Medina-Sidonia's Relation, or report of the Armada’s proceedings during the campaign in the English Channel and North Sea. The reader can therefore compare the Spanish with the English accounts of the operations.
The documents now published cover almost exactly a year. The earliest date given is December 21, 1587, attached to Howard's commission; and the latest is December 27, 1588-both dates being Old Style, which, as is generally known, continued in use in England till the middle of the last century. Amongst the documents are letters from Howard, H. Seymour, Drake, J. Hawkyns, Wynter, and other admirals and captains, to the Queen, to the Council, to Burghley, to Walsyngham, and to each other. Here and there we find a letter of Burghley's; memoranda for the conduct of business noted down by him; maxims to be observed by the statesmen of a country threatened by a formidable enemy—a valuable lesson for English statesmen in our own day ; verification, or, more correctly, re-computation of accounts by the Lord Treasurer's own hand. Reports on the condition of Her Majesty's ships; statements of the steps taken to supply the fleet with victuals, stores, and ammunition; letters from private persons offering advice to the authorities, as private persons are still fond of doing, and ending, as such letters generally end now, in imperfectly disguised requests for some good thing;' inventories of stores found in captured ships; translations of letters of Spanish prisoners, are amongst the contents of the two volumes. The mere enumeration shows how many things worth reading they contain.
The document which comes first in order is, for several reasons, invested with a special interest. It is printed from a manuscript in the British Museum (Cotton, Julius, F. x. ff. 111-117), and to it the editor appends the following footnote :
The MS. has nothing externally to indicate its origin; internally, there is much in favour of the opinion that it is official ; and it does not seem improbable that it was drawn up under Howard's authority, as “the more particular relation” with which he proposed "at better leisure" to supplement “the brief abstract of accidents” sent to Walsyngham on August 7. It must, however, be remembered that this is only conjecture, and that the relation has not the authority of an authenticated document. Still, none of the statements in it are contradicted by other papers of greater value; and most of them are directly corroborated, often in the very words.' The recent history of this document bears in it convincing testimony not only to the care and caution, but also to the perspicacity, of Professor Laughton as an editor. The first volume was given to the public some weeks before the second. The 'Relation' at once attracted attention, and the similarity between it and · A Discourse concerning the Spanish Fleet,' printed by Ryther in 1590, was pointed out, it being suggested that both may have been translations from the Italian of Petruccio Ubaldino. Ryther's ‘Discourse' was admittedly such, because added to its title are the words, • Written in Italian by Petruccio Ubaldini, Citizen of
Florence, and translated for A. Ryther.' All uncertainty as to the origin of the 'Relation' has now been removed.
In Appendix H (vol. ii.) the editor informs us that Ubaldino's MS. has been found in the British Museum (0. R. 14, A x.); and we are given a translation of the dedication, which is to Howard himself. It begins:
"Your Lordship's own relation of what happened against the enemy's fleet in these seas, first written in English, now returns to you in Italian, to the end that the abundant content won for the English nation by the happy success of those days may also bear witness to other nations, in a language which they understand, of the valour and conduct of your Lordship,” &c. The official character and high authority of the Relation' are now conclusively established, and the conjecture modestly put forward by the editor in the early part of vol. i. is fully borne out.
Often as it has been told, there is good reason for once more repeating the history of the Armada campaign. It is still believed by many people that the Armada was in reality defeated by bad weather; and on this belief is founded the demand, so often put forward by Lord Wolseley and others, that we should not trust to our fleet to keep off invasion. When people give theinselves up to an extreme opinion, it is useless to put before them evidence to show that they are wrong-Non ragioniam di lor! There must be many educated Englishmen who still think that when the odds
against us were most terrible’ Providence came to our help by sending a storm, but whose spirit is sufficiently judicial to incline them to accept as truth what is proved by abundant and irrefragable testimony. To these we may appeal. The summer, it is true, had been a stormy one. Lord Henry Seymour, less accustomed to rough weather than Drake, Hawkyns, Frobiser, and other sea-dogs,' says so several times.
Such summer season saw I never the like; for what for storms and variable, unsettled winds, the same unsettleth and altereth our determinations for lying on the other coast' (July 12, Seymour to Walsyngham).
I find no manner of difference between winter and summer, saving that the days be now longer' (July 18, Seymour to Walsyngham). Towards the end of July the weather mended, and there was a fine interval of more than a week,* which exactly covered the time from the first contact between Howard's fleet and the Armada off Plymouth till the Spaniards had got as far north as the latitude of Newcastle in their flight. As a matter of fact, the wind throughout this period was generally most annoyingly light. Even on the night of SundayMonday (July a to Justi), after the first action, the wind, though it had freshened, was not strong enough to prevent the English from using their ships' open boats. Open boats, indeed, were used-and often by both sides—from the first appearance of the Armada in the Channel till the day before it was last seen from Howard's fleet-a sure proof that the weather was moderate. The councils held would have been impossible had it not been practicable to go from ship to ship by boat.
Information concerning the weather will be found in a very careful account of the Armada catastrophe written, not by an Englishman, be it noted, but by an American, Mr. W. F. Tilton, and published in German. This work, which is to be followed by a fuller History of the Armada, was composed by Mr. Tilton as his inaugural dissertation for the degree of Ph.D. in the University of Freiburg. It is
* Froude (“Hist.' xii. 406) says, "less than a week of calm and sunshine;' but calm and sunshine are not essential to make what seamen consider fine weather.
entitled . Die Katastrophe der spanischen Armada, 31. Juli.8. August 1588.'* On the day of the first action (Sunday) the wind came off the land, and could not have caused a rough sea. On Monday night the sea was very calm. On Tuesday the sun rose in fine weather. On Wednesday there was good weather. On Thursday it was calm part of the day. On Friday the sun rose in a calm. On Saturday, when both the hostile fleets were at anchor off Calais, where anchoring would have been out of the question had it been anything but fine, boats passed repeatedly between ship and ship and between the ships and the shore. On Sunday, as far as weather was concerned, there was nothing to render the anchorage off Calais inconvenient. On Monday it was fine enough to permit of boats going to the Spanish galeass stranded during the previous night, and between her and the town. There was no fighting after this Monday, the defeat of the Armada having been then completed. The foregoing account may have been found tedious; it is essential to a right understanding of the campaign, without which injustice would be done to the memory of Howard and his valiant companions; for it was by their valour, skill, and endurance, and not in the least by bad weather, that England was saved.
Professor Laughton maintains that nothing can be more 'inaccurate' than to represent the war between Elizabeth and Philip II. as religious. It is indeed,' he says, 'quite
certain that religious bitterness was imported into the quarrel, but the war had its origin in two perfectly clear • and wholly mundane causes.' Of these, one was the attempts made by adventurous Englishmen to break down the exclusive commercial system enforced by Spain in her transmarine dominions. The other was the countenance and assistance given by the English to Philip's rebellious subjects in the Netherlands. Either of these, we venture to think, would have been of itself sufficient to cause the war. The general circumstances of Europe were not more favourable to the success of the Spanish arms than they were when Philip had been first urged to begin it; † and religious zeal which
* Freiburg im Breisgau, 1894.
op The following, from the introduction to Captain Duro's valuable collection, 'La Armada Invencible,' Madrid, 1881, is worth notice :-' Don Alvaro de Bazan, Marquis de Santa Cruz, acabada felizmente la jornada de las islas Terceras, en 1583, escribió al Rey proponiendo la invasion de Inglaterra con la armada y el ejército victoriosos, como cosa hacedera y necesaria si habia de dominarse la rebelion de los Países
gross total obatants, bringing ang
was too vast for to
can be repressed for years is not likely to be of a character so burning that nothing but a great war can assuage it.
Santa Cruz, who was a naval officer of great experience and tried capacity, knew that the invasion of England, even as England then was, would not be a trifling affair. In a detailed plan submitted hy him to the king in March 1586, he put down the necessary numbers of the expedition at 150 great ships of war, 360 storeships and smaller vessels, 46 galleys and galleasses, giving a total of 556 ships of all
kinds and 85,332 men, to which were to be added cavalry, 'artillerymen, volunteers, and non-combatants, bringing up
the number of men to a gross total of 94,222.' The project was too vast for Philip. He decided that a sinaller, but still enormous fleet, carrying, in addition to its sailors, nearly 20,000 soldiers, should proceed to the English Channel, and escort across from the Low Countries the army under the Duke of Parma, which, together with the soldiers already on board, would suffice for the invasion. Preparations for an expedition as thus arranged were begun, and became known in England. In the opinion of the English admirals the best way of meeting the danger was to proceed to the Spanish dominions and destroy the vast Armada whilst fitting out in port. To this opinion they adhered till the last, and with good reason. In April 1587 Drake had been ordered to sail from England for the coast of Spain with twenty-four ships. Counter-orders were issued, but, fortunately, failed to catch him. He went down to Cadiz, and there sank, • burnt, or brought away thirty-seven of the enemy's ship3.' * The fitting-out of the Armada was delayed, and in the meantime Santa Cruz died. In his place as Commander-inChief of the expedition was appointed the Duke of MedinaSidonia, whose only recommendations were his social position and his good-nature-qualifications occasionally considered sufficient in other services for high command. The Armada, which first assembled in the Tagus, sailed on the 20 May, put into Corunna, and started again for the English Channel on the 12 July. It reached its rendezvous off the Lizard on Saturday the 20 July.
Bajos, que tenía la raiz en la isla frontera' (i. p. 15). This was two years before the war avowedly began.
* Thus Laughton, p. xxvii; but Captain Duro, who gives Drake twenty-seven ships, says: 'Incendió diez y ocho naves grandes que allí se aprestaban ; apresó otras seis' (i. p. 29). Bruce (Report, &c., p. 19) says above 100 vessels !
VOL. CLXXXI. NO. CCCLXXI.