quarta-feira, janeiro 12, 2011

1589. Norris and Drake undertake an expedition into Spain, to set Don Antonio in his Kingdom of Portugal, but prevailed not, and why.

It was now in the Year 1589, and the Two a thirtieth of Queen Elizabeth Reign, when to be in some sort revenged of the Spaniards for their invasion, She gave leave to Sir John Norris and Sir Francis Drake, to undertake an Expedition at their own private Charges, requiring nothing of her but a few Ships of War, who took along with them Anthony the Bastard , laying Claim to the Kingdom of Portugal , and of Soldiers to the Number of Eleven thousand, of Seaman about Fifteen hundred : setting Sail from Plymouth the fifth day of April, they arrived at the Groyne in Galizia ; whereof with great Valour they took first the Lower Town , and afterward the Higher , and from thence sailing towards Portugal , they met Robert Earl of Essex, who without the Queens leave had put to Sea : After two days they arrive at Penycha, a Town of Portugal, which they took ; and left the Castle to Don Antonio, and thence they march by Land towards Lisbon Threescore miles off: The Foot Companies led by Norris, whom Drake promised to follow with the Fleet, being come to the West Suburbs of Lisbon, they found no body there but a poor disarmed Portugals, who cryed out, God Save King Antonio. The day following the Spaniards made a Sally out , in which Skirmish, Bret, Caresty and Carre ( stout Commanders ) were slain; yet did the Earl of Essex drive the Spaniards to the very Gates of the City. And having now tarried here two days, and seeing no signof the Portugals revolting ; which Don Antonio had assured them would be , finding fresh Supplies come into the Town , their own Army sickly, Victuals and Powder failing ; and which was most of all , Sir Francis Drake not bringing the great Ordenance as he promised, they departed from the Suburbs of Lisbon towards Cascais, a little Town at the mouth of the River Tagus, which Town Drake had taken this mean while, who excused his not coming to Lisbon by reason of the Flats he must have passed, and the Castle of St Julian fortified with Fifty pieces of great Ordenance, Near this place they found threescore Hulks of the Hanse Towns of Germany, laden with Corn and all manner of Munition, which they took as good prize towards their Charges , in regard the Queen had forbidden them to carry Victuals or Munition to the Spaniard. From hence they set sail to Virgo, a forlorn Town by the Sea-side, and pillaging all along the Quarter, returned for England, having lost in the Voyage of Soldiers and Mariners about six thousand ; yet not so much by the Enemy, as by eating of strange Fruits, and distemper of the Climate.

in "A Chronicle of the Kings of England", por Sir Robert Baker (1643)

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