The Royal Navy, a History from the Earliest Times to the Present/Volume 1/Chapter 13

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search


Civil History of the Navy, 1485–1603.

Progress in navigation—“Ephemerides”—The astrolabe—The cross-staff— Behaim’s globe—“Lunars”—Variation of the needle—Mercator’s charts—Books on navigation—Davis’s quadrant—The telescope—The fleet—Ships of Henry VII.—The Henry Grace à Dieu—Ordnance—Naval literature—Arms—Gear—Ships of Henry VIII.—Ships of Edward VI.—Ships of Elizabeth—Naval pay—Agreement between Henry VIII. and Sir Edward Howard—Howard of Effingham’s intructions—Pensions—The chest at Chatham—Naval arenals—Docks—The first dry dock—The government of the service—Reforms of Henry VIII.—The Navy Board—Trinity House—Punishments—The seafaring population—Encouragement of trade—Elizabeth’s care of her country’s interests.

BEFORE the end of the fifteenth century, European seamen had ceased to be mere unscientific gropers in darkness.[1] They knew how Eratosthenes had calculated the obliquity of the ecliptic by means of the armillæ, or great copper circles, fixed in the square porch of the Alexandrian Museum, and how he had determined the circumference of the earth. He had heard that deep wells in Syene were enlightened to the bottom on the day of the summer solstice, and he therefore reasoned that Syene must be on the tropic. He had ascertained the latitude of Alexandria by observation, and he assumed that the two places were on the same meridian. The arc thus measured enabled him to calculate the proportion it bore to the whole circumference of the earth, and his result was a fair approximation to the truth.

Then again, the fifteenth-century seamen had the catalogue of the stars and constellations, the system of mapping by degrees of latitude and longitude, and the theory of the precession of the equinoxes—all bequeathed to them by Hipparchus, and preserved for them by Ptolemy. The system of Ptolemy was the navigator's text-book in the Middle Ages; and the Almagest, the Arabic translation of his work, was the foundation of astronomical knowledge. It was to learned men, well versed in the Almagest, that Alfonso X. of Castille, had entrusted the preparation of the astronomical tables which are called after him, and which, after they had remained in manuscript for about two hundred years, were first printed in 1483. Before the accession of Henry VII., Georg Peurbach and Johann Müller, better known as Regiomontanus, had lived and done their work, and the latter had not only constructed valuable instruments, but had also published his "Ephemerides," with tables of the sun's declination calculated for the years from 1475 to 1566.

It was, however, in the lifetime of Henry VII. that greater progress was made than in any previous period of thrice the duration, and the chief authors of this remarkable progress were the two celebrated navigators, Martin Behaim, of Nuremberg, and Christopher Columbus.

(From Martin Cortes' 'Arte del Navegar.' Seville, 1556.)

Behaim, a merchant, was a pupil of Regiomontanus, and a student of the Almagest. While in Portugal, he adapted for João I., as an instrument of navigation, the astrolabe, which had previously been used only in astronomy. A graduated metal ring, held so as to hang as a plummet, with a movable limb across it, fitted with two perforated sights, enabled the seaman to observe the angle between the horizon and the sun at noon; and with this, and the daily declination of the sun, as given by Regiomontanus, the discovery of the latitude involved only a simple calculation. This seems to have been about the year 1483. Not many years elapsed ere a more suitable instrument for observing the sun's altitude was devised. This was the cross-staff, the first known description of which dates from 1514, and is by Werner of Nürnberg. After accompanying Diogo Cão on his West African voyage in 1484-85, and then living for a time in the Azores, Behaim returned to Nürnberg, and constructed his great globe, concerning which Baron Nordenskiöld has written as follows to Sir Clements Markham:—

(From Davis's 'Seaman's Secrets', London, 1594.)

"The globe of Behaim is, without comparison, the most important geographical document that appeared between a.d. 150, the date of the composition of Ptolemy's Atlas, and a.d. 1507, when Ruysch's map of the world was published. This globe is not only the oldest known to exist, but, from its size and its wealth of geographical detail, it far surpassed all analogous monuments de géographie, until the appearance of the globe of Mercator. It is the first geographical document which, without any reserve, adopts the existence of antipodes. It is the first which plainly shows the possibility of a passage by sea to India and Cathay. It is the first on which the discoveries of Marco Polo are clearly indicated. It is true that the Behaim globe may be said to have been preceded, in some respects, by some other earlier maps of the fifteenth century—for instance, the map in a codex of Pomponius Mela of 1427, in the library of Rheims, and that of Fra Mauro. But if these are impartially studied, it will be found that they are based on the idea of Homer, that the earth is a large circular island encompassed by the ocean, a conception totally incompatible with the new geographical discoveries of the Spaniards. These and analogous maps are, therefore, not in the slightest degree comparable with the globe of Behaim, which may be said to be an exact representation of the geographical knowledge of the period immediately preceding the first voyage of Columbus."

The ascertaining of the longitude continued for many generations to be a difficulty, although Werner of Nürnberg proposed the method of observing the distance of the moon from the sun with simultaneous altitudes—a method subsequently known as taking a "lunar"; and Gemma Frisius of Louvain had an idea, made public in 1530, that longitude might be found by comparison of times kept by small clocks, a foreshadowing of the modern use of the chronometer.

Columbus was the first to observe the variation of the needle. This was on September 14th, 1492. It afterwards attracted the attention of Sebastian Cabot. But the peculiarity was very generally believed at the time to be non-existent, the observations being inaccurate; and, as late as 1571, Sarmiento doubted it.

Globes, and not charts, were chiefly used by the early sixteenth-century navigators who ventured into distant seas. The plane charts were fruitful sources of error and danger, owing to the degrees being shown in them as of equal length. Therefore the discovery of a method of projection which obviated these disadvantages marked a very great advance in the progress of the art of navigation. The discoverer was Gerard Cremer, better known as Mercator. Gerard learnt astronomy at Louvain from Gemma Frisius, published his first map in 1537, and constructed his great globe, two feet in diameter, in 1541. But the chart of the world, on the new projection, did not appear until 1569. The advantage of the system lies in the fact, as the author explains, that, although distances are distorted, the relative positions of places are correct. The actual chart is incorrectly drawn, and if Mercator really had a definite theory, he supplied others with no practical methods of working it out. The idea was not utilised in a scientific manner until Edward Wright of Garveston, in 1594, the year of Mercator's death, discovered the method of dividing the meridian. Five years later he published his treatise on 'The Correction of Certain Errors in Navigation,' and only thereafter did charts, on what is still nevertheless called Mercator's projection, come into general use.

Other valuable aids to the advancement of the science of navigation were furnished, in the sixteenth century, by the work of Pedro Nuñez, or Nonius, Martin Fernandez Enciso, Pedro de Medina, Martin Cortes, Bourne, William Borough, Blundeville, Hondius, Blagrave, Thomas Hood, Hues, Heriot, John Davis, and Gilbert of Colchester. Nonius gave the solution of several problems, including the determination of the latitude by the sun's double altitude, and was the first to introduce rhumb lines on charts. Enciso's 'Suma de Geografia' was the first practical navigation book for the use of sailors. Medina, though a Spanish writer, was the mentor of the early Dutch navigators. Cortes's 'Compendium' appeared in an English translation in 1561, and was used by John Davis, the navigator. Bourne's 'Regiment of the Sea' (1573) was the earliest original English work on Navigation, and contains the first account of the modern method of measuring a ship's run by means of the log and line, an apparatus which Bourne elsewhere says was the invention of one Humphrey Cole, of the Mint in the Tower. Borough wrote on the Magnet and Loadstone in 1581. Blundeville published his very popular 'Exercises' in 1594, with a table of meridianal parts as furnished to him by his friend Edward Wright, and an explanation of the principle of Mercator's projection. Hondius, in 1595, published at Amsterdam a new chart of the world on Mercator's projection, in the preparation of which he utilised Wright's tables. Blagrave and Hood improved the astrolabe and cross-staff. Hues expounded various problems in navigation, and included in his 'Tractatus de Globis' (1594), a chapter by Heriot on the use of rhumbs. John Davis, the navigator, wrote 'The Seaman's Secrets' in 1594, and invented the back-staff or, Davis's quadrant, which rapidly superseded the cross-staff, and which, improved by Flamsteed, remained in common use until Hadley's reflecting quadrant took its place in 1731. And Doctor Gilbert of Colchester, in the last year of the century, followed up the previous works by Borough, Norman, and others, on magnetism, by propounding the theory that the earth itself is a magnet. Nor must the invention of the telescope be forgotten. It is due to Zacharias Janssen, of Middelberg, about 1590, and the instrument, quickly improved, soon became part of the sea captain's equipment.

The Royal Navy, a History from the Earliest Times to the Present, Volume 1 - Back-staff, or davis's quadrant.png

(From John Robertson's 'Elements of Navigation,' London, 1742.)

Henry VII., unlike some of his fifteenth-century predecessors, deemed it of importance to build some vessels specially for war, instead of relying entirely upon ships hired from the merchants, and more or less hastily and imperfectly adapted for it, and he strengthened the Navy Royal by adding to it at least two finer men-of-war than had been previously seen in England.

With the crown he acquired the Grace à Dieu,[2] the Governor,[3] the Martin Garcia,[4] the Mary of the Tower,[5] the Trinity, the Falcon, and possibly the Bonaventure. He purchased the Carvel of Ewe[6] (Caravel of Eu, in Normandy), and perhaps also a small craft called the King's Bark; he captured the Margaret in 1490; and he built the Regent, the Sovereign, the Sweepstake, and the Mary Fortune.

The tonnage and dimensions of the Regent[7] and the Sovereign are unknown; but it is tolerably certain that both ships were larger and more powerful than any of their predecessors in the English navy.

The Regent was constructed in Reding Creek, on the Rother, under the supervision of Sir Richard Guildford,[8] and seems to have been launched in 1489 or 1490. She carried 225 serpentines, all apparently on the upper deck, forecastle, and poop. She had a foremast and foretop-mast,[9] a main-mast, main top-mast, and main top-gallant-mast, a main mizen-mast, a bonaventure mizen-mast, and a sprit-sail on the bowsprit. Each mast seems to have carried a yard. The Regent was burnt in 1512.

The Sovereign was constructed, partly out of the remains of the broken-up Grace à Dieu, under the superintendence of Sir Reginald Bray,[10] and, in all likelihood, was launched in 1488. She was smaller than the Regent, carrying only 141 serpentines. Her masts were like those of the Regent, except that she had no main top-gallant-mast.[11]

The Sweepstake[12] and Mary Fortune were built in 1497, and were small craft, each with three lower masts, a main top-mast, and a sprit-sail on the bowspit.[13] One had eighty and the other sixty oars, for use as sweeps.

The Regent, the principal warship, bequeathed to Henry VIII. by his father, was, as will be seen later, burnt in the action off Brest, on August 10th, 1512, and it would appear that it was as a substitute for her that the famous Henry Grace à Dieu was laid down at Erith in the course of the autumn of the same year. On June 13th, 1514, the not extravagant sum of 6s. 8d. was offered at her "hallowing,"[14] from which fact it may be concluded that she was then launched; and in the course of the following year she seems to have been completed for sea. William Bond, the master-shipwright who built her under Brygandine's direction, is supposed to have been the first master-shipwright of the Royal Navy. A MS. Augmentation Office account, quoted by Charnock,[15] indicates that in November, or December, 1514, she was moved from Erith to Barking Creek by a party which included twenty-one seamen who had been discharged from the Lizard, each of whom received 8d. for his share of the work.

Several alleged representations of this interesting ship exist, and some of them are reproduced here. One is found in a picture which was long hanging in Canterbury Cathedral, and which was presented to Sir John Norris, Admiral of the Fleet, by the dean and chapter. It is still in the possession of Sir John's descendants, and was exhibited at the Royal Naval Exhibition, 1891. Another occurs in the picture by Volpe of the embarkation of Henry VIII. at Dover on May 31st, 1520, to meet Francis I. on the Field of the Cloth of Gold. This picture, the property of the Crown, is at Hampton Court Palace. Another occurs in the well-known drawing preserved in the Pepysian collection at Cambridge. And there are two models in the museum at Greenwich. The authenticity of these last was, however, so much doubted by the models committee of the Naval Exhibition, that they were merely described in the catalogue as probably representing large ships of the sixteenth century. Upon the whole, Volpe's picture, long ascribed to Holbein, seems to be the most trustworthy, although it does not represent the vessels which actually convoyed Henry, but rather those vessels which would have convoyed him, had the harbours where the king embarked and disembarked been deep enough to admit them. The following account of Volpe's picture, which is of necessity here reproduced on a very diminished scale, and does not, therefore, show details with great clearness, will assist the student. Of it Pepys says: "I came a little too late (to receive the Communion at Whitehall), so I walked up into the house, and spent my time in looking over pictures, particularly the ships in King Henry VIII.'s voyage to Bullaen, marking the great difference between those built then and now."

The Royal Navy, a History from the Earliest Times to the Present, Volume 1 - The henry grace à dieu.png

(From a supposed contemporary panel, formerly in Canterbury Cathedral, given by the dean and chapter to Admiral of the Fleet, Sir John Norris. By kind permission of H. C. Norris, Esq.)

The Royal Navy, a History from the Earliest Times to the Present, Volume 1 - Embarkation of Henry VIII. At Dover, May 31st, 1520.png

[To face page 406.

(From Basire's Engraving after Volpe's Picture, now at Hampton Court.)

The Henry Grace à Dieu is the vessel which is sailing out of harbour, and which is immediately above the right tower. She has four pole masts, with two round tops on each, except the shorter mizzen, which bears only one. Her sails and pennants are of cloth of gold damasked. The royal standard of England flies on each of the four angles of the forecastle, and the staff of each standard is surrounded by a fleur-de-lys Or. Pennants fly from the mastheads, and at each angle of the poop is a banner of

The Royal Navy, a History from the Earliest Times to the Present, Volume 1 - The henry grace à dieu (Pepysian Library).png

(From the drawing in the Pepysian Library in Magdalen College, Cambridge.)

St. George. Her quarters and sides, as well as her tops, are hung with targets, charged differently with the Cross of St. George, Azure a fleur-de-lys Or, party per pale Argent and Vert a union rose, and party per pale Argent and Vert a portcullis Or, alternately and repeatedly. In the waist stands the king, in a garment of cloth of gold, edged with ermine, the sleeves, jacket, and breeches, crimson. His round hat bears a white feather, lying on the brim. On his proper left stands a person in a dark violet coat, slashed with black, and with red stockings. On his right are three other persons, one in black, another in bluish-grey, and the third in red, guarded with black, and with a black slashed jacket. Behind are yeomen of the guard, with halberts. Two trumpeters, sounding their trumpets, sit on the break of the poop, and two more are on the break of the forecastle. On both forecastle and poop are many yeomen of the guard. Beneath the break of the forecastle are shown, party per pale Argent and Vert, within the garter, the arms England and France, quarterly crowned; the supporters, a lion and a dragon, being those then used by the king. The same arms appear on the stern. On each side of the rudder is a porthole, showing the muzzle of a brass gun. The figure-head seems to represent a lion. Under the stern is a boat, having at her head two banners of St. George, and at her stern the same. Two yeomen of the guard, and other persons are in her. Both stern and forecastle are two decks higher than the waist, which itself appears to be two clear decks above the water.

The Royal Navy, a History from the Earliest Times to the Present, Volume 1 - Culverin Bastard, XVIth Century.png


Four other ships, all large, are shown in the picture. The king's squadron actually consisted of the Great Bark, the Less Bark, the Katherine Pleasaunce, the Mary and John, and two row barges, all comparatively small craft; but the painter obviously shows us some of the crack ships of the time. The visit to France was paid in Henry's twelfth year. In the thirteenth year of his reign, 1521-22, according to a MS. in Pepys' Miscellanies,[16] the five largest ships in the English navy, with their tonnage, were as follows: Henry Grace à Dieu, 1500;[17] Sovereign, 800; Gabriel Royal, 650; Mary Rose, 600;[18] and Katherine Forteleza, 550; and it is very probable that these five vessels are the five depicted. On this assumption, the ship which men are boarding, and which is the innermost of the three lying alongside one another, would naturally be the Sovereign, since she alone, except the Henry Grace à Dieu, has four masts.

The Royal Navy, a History from the Earliest Times to the Present, Volume 1 - Brass gun from the mary rose.png


The heavy guns of the Henry Grace à Dieu, according to an account in 'Archæologia,'[19] taken from a MS. in the Pepysian Collection at Magdalen College, Cambridge, were twenty-one in number, and were all of brass. The following are the types and numbers of each, with the number and nature of the shot carried for them:—

Guns. Number. Shot. Number.
Cannon 4 Iron 100
Demi-cannon 3 " 60
Culverin 4 " 120
Demi-Culverin 2 " 70
Saker 4 " 120
Cannon Perer (Cannon Petro) 2 Stone or lead 67
Falcon 2 Iron 100

There were also the following light guns, viz.: port pieces, 14; slings, 4; demi-slings, 2; fowlers, 8; bassils, 60; top-pieces, 2; hail-shot pieces, 40; and hand-guns, 100. Her complement was made up of 301 mariners, 50 gunners, and 349 soldiers, making 700 in all.

It would be waste of time, in default of specific information on the subject, to endeavour to indicate how and where the different heavy guns were mounted; but some particulars as to the guns themselves can and should be attempted. In this we are assisted by the fact that several guns which went down in the above-mentioned Mary Rose in 1545, off Portsmouth, have been recovered, and are still in existence, and by the further fact that little change in the size and nature of ships' heavy guns took place during the sixteenth century. A table of the principal guns of that period, compiled from extant specimens, and from what appear to be the most trustworthy ancient authorities,[20] is therefore appended: —

Name of Piece. Calibre. Length.[21] Weight of Gun. Weight of Shot. Charge of Powder.
  Ins. Ft. Ins. Lbs. Lbs. Lbs.
Cannon Royal 8.54 8 6 8,000 74 30
Cannon 8.0 .. 6,000 60 27
Cannon Serpentine 7.0 .. 5,500 42 25
Bastard Cannon 7.0 .. 4,500 42 20
Demi-Cannon 6.4 11 0 4,000 32 18
Cannon Pedro, or Petro[22] 6.0 .. 3,800 26 14
Culverin[23] 5.2 10 11 4,840 18 12
Basilisk 5.0 .. 4,000 14 9
Demi-Culverin 4.0 .. 3,400 8 6
Culverin Bastard 4.56 8 6 3,000 11 5.7
Saker[24] 3.65 6 11 1,400 6 4
Minion 3.5 6 6 1,050 5.2 3
Falcon 2.5 6 0 680 2 1.2
Falconet[25] 2.0 3 9 500 1 .4
Serpentine 1.5 .. 400 .5 .3
Rabinet or Robinet 1.0 .. 300 .3 .18

The weights of guns of the same denomination, and of the shot for them, nay, even the calibres, seem to have varied considerably, and the windage was greater than was ever allowed in the seventeenth or eighteenth century. In the cannon royal it must have amounted to a full half-inch at least, and if, as some authorities say, the cannon royal threw only a sixty-six pound shot, the windage must have been in some cases as much as three-quarters of an inch. In his preface to the 'Defeat of the Spanish Armada,' Professor Laughton speaks loosely of the shot being "a good inch and a half less in diameter than the bore of the gun." This is surely an exaggeration. Had the proportions been so, the iron shot for an 8-in. gun would have weighed less than 40 lbs.; that for a 7-in. gun less than 24 lbs.; that for a 6-in. gun about 13 lbs.; and that for a 5-in. gun only about 6 lbs. The relatively large charges of powder may be explainued by this great windage, and the excessive badness and weakness of the explosive. In the eighteenth century, twenty-five pounds was a proof charge for a 42-pounder, and the heaviest sea-service charge for it was only seventeen pounds, while the proof

charge for an 18-pounder was fifteen pounds, and the sea-service charge was but nine pounds.[26]

The ships of Henry VII. appear to have been the first English ones to be fitted with regular port-holes. The Regent and Sovereign certainly had them in their poops and forecastles. The invention of the device has been ascribed to Descharges, a shipbuilder of Brest, about the year 1500, but there is no doubt that it was of a rather earlier date. The numerous small guns of the Henry Grace à Dieu, and of the other large ships of her time, were mounted on the upper deck, in the tops, in the poop and forecastle, and under the break of the poop and forecastle, so as to command the waist and sweep it, should boarding be attempted there. Among these small guns were:—Fowlers, short, light weapons, with or without a separate breech which could be unshipped and reloaded while another was being discharged; port-pieces, small fowlers with the same peculiarities; curtalds, short heavy guns, apparently employed for high-angle fire; slings, demi-slings, bassils or small basilisks, and top-pieces, all of diminutive calibre and relatively large powder-charge, working on swivels or pivots; hail-shot pieces, carrying a charge of cubical dice; and hand-guns or calivers, which, though fired from the shoulder, required to be supported on a pivot or staff.

Among the stores of the Henry Grace à Dieu at her commissioning were two lasts, or 4800 pounds of "serpentyn" powder in barrels, and six lasts, or 14,400 pounds of "corn" powder, also in barrels.[27] This, and the provision of shot, must have been more than ample, for the larger guns could be fired only very seldom, there being no mechanical contrivances for working them; and it is recorded as a marvellous thing by Du Bellay that the action of 1545, when about two hundred ships were hotly engaged at close quarters for two hours, there were not less than three hundred cannon-shot fired on both sides. Du Bellay, as a military contemporary, no doubt wrote what was quite true;[28] but he probably included only the shots thrown from the heavier guns engaged, paid no attention to the fire of light pieces. Still, the expenditure

The Royal Navy, a History from the Earliest Times to the Present, Volume 1 - A Genoese Carrack.png

(From Charnock, who says that it is copied from an original drawing made in 1452.)

was remarkably small, and it cannot have permitted the heaviest guns to be discharged more than twice or thrice apiece. The seamen of the period had not, however, begun to depend exclusively, nor even chiefly, upon firearms as their weapons of offence, and this abundantly appears from the fact that, among the stores of the Henry Grace à Dieu were 500 bows of yew, ten gross of bowstrings, 200 morris pikes, 200 bills, ten dozen lime pots, and great quantities of arrows and darts. As late as 1578,[29] there were, among the stores of Queen Elizabeth's ships, 300 bows, 380 sheaves of arrows, 460 morris pikes, and 160 bills; nor had the gun fully asserted its supremacy until several years after the time of the Armada. It should be added that in the case of the largest guns of the Tudors, the powder was made up on board into cartridges in canvas cases, paper cases being used for the charges of the medium and lighter guns. Hence the comparatively early origin of the term cartridge-paper.

No picture, print, or model of the Henry Grace à Dieu suggests to the modern technical critic that the vessel was in the least suited for sea work; yet the ship was undoubtedly a good sailer, for, writing to the king on June 4th, 1522, from the Downs, Vice-Admiral Sir William Fitzwilliam reported that she sailed as well as, and rather better than, any ship in the fleet, weathering all save the Mary Rose.

An inventory of her gear, made in 1521, shows that she possessed a 22-inch cable, a 20-inch cable, and an 8-inch hawser. Her mainstay was sixteen inches in diameter. When she was still building, the authorities paid for a streamer or pennant, fifty-one yards long, for her mainmast, a sum of £3, and for two flags; with crosses of St. George, 10d. each. These last may have been boatflags; for, of course, she carried boats, though it is not clear how she hoisted then out and in, and where she stowed them. They must have lain, possibly on chocks, on deck in the waist. The boat davit was a much later invention. Some notes as to the prices of certain gear for other ships, from records of the year 1513, may be added here: For the Trinity of Bristol, otherwise the Nicholas of Hampton, a spirit-sail yard cost 9s. (she was a craft of 200 tons); 100 feet of oak plank, 6s.; a hundredweight of small ropes, 11s. 4d.; a boathook, 4d.; a compass, 2s.; a foreyard, 14s.; and two gallons of vinegar, "to make fine powder for hand-guns," 8d. A mizzenmast for the Katherine Pomegranate, otherwise the Sweepstake, of 65 (or 80) tons, cost 10s., and an anchor for the same craft, 20s.

Contemporary literary references to naval matters of the sixteenth century are so rare, and so very few of them are attributable to writers who seem to have been at all familiar with the technical aspects of naval life, that no excuse is necessary for printing here an extract from a volume which was published at Edinburgh in 1801, and which is entitled 'The Complaynt of Scotland.' The work was written by an unknown author in 1548; and it takes the form of a satire directed against those responsible, or supposed to be responsible, for the misfortunes of the northern kingdom. In the first part, the author laments his country's woes, and considers the causes of them; in the second, as if endeavouring to escape from the sadness of his reflections, he gives a vivid description of a number of characteristic scenes. Among these (page 61) is the following naval picture[30]:—

The Royal Navy, a History from the Earliest Times to the Present, Volume 1 - Vessels, xivth century.png

(Frontispiece to "L'Arte del Navegar." Venice, 1555.)

"Than I sat doune to see the flouying of the fame; quhar that I leukyt fart furth on the salt flude. There I beheld ane galiasse gayly grathit for the veyr, lyand fast at ane ankir, and her salis in hou. I herd many vordis amang the marynalis, bot I vist nocht quhat tai menit. Zit I sal reherse and report ther crying and ther cal. In the fyrst, the maister of the galiasse gart the botis man pas vp to the top, to leuk fart furth gyf he culd see ony schips. Than the botis man leukyt sa lang quhit that he sae ane quhyt sail. Than he cryit vitht ane skyrl, quod he, 'I see ane grit schip.'

"Than the maister quhislit, and bald the marynalis lay the cabil to the cabilstok, to veynde and veye. Than the marynalis began to veyde the cabil vitht mony loud cry. And as ane cryit, al the laif cryit in that samyn tune, as it hed bene ecco in ane hon heuch. And, as it aperit to me, thai cryit thir vordis as eftir follouis: 'Veyra, veyra, veyra, veyra, gentil gallandis, gentil gallandis! Veynde; I see hym: veynde; I see him. Pourbossa; pourbossa! Hail al and ane! Hail al and ane! Hail hym vp til vs! Hail hym vp til vs!'

"Than, quhen the ankyr vas halit vp abufe the vattir, ane marynal cryit, and al the laif follouit in that sam tune; 'Caupon caupona; caupon caupona; caupun hola; caupun hola; caupun holt; caupun holt; sarrabossa; sarrabossa.' Than thai maid fast the sthank of the ankyr.

"And the maister quhislit and cryit: 'Tua men abufe to the foir ra! Cut the raibandis, and lat the foir sail fal! Hail doune

to steir burde! Lufe harde aburde! Hail eftir the foir sail scheit! Hail out the bollene!'

"Than the maister quhislit and cryit; 'Tua men abufe to the mane ra! Cut the raibandis, and lat the mane sail and top sail fal! Hail doune the lufe close aburde! Hail eftir the mane sail scheit! Hail out the mane sail bollene!' Than ane of the marynalis began to hail and to cry, and al the marynalis ansuert of that samyn sound: 'Hou! Hou! Pulpela! Pulpela! Boulena! Boulena! Darta! Darta! Hard out strif! Hard out strif! Afoir the vynd! Afoir the vynd! God send! God send! Fayr vedthir! Fayr vedthir! Mony pricis! Mony pricis! God foir lend! God foir lend! Stou! Stou! Mak fast and belay!' Than the maister cryit and bald: 'Renze ane bonet! Vire the trossis! Nou heise!' Than the marynalis began to heis vp the sail, cryand: Heisau! Heisau! Vorsa! Vorsa! Vou! Vou! Ane lang draucht! Ane lang draucht! Mair maucht! Mair maucht! Zong blude! Zong blude! Mair mude! Mair mude! False flasche! False flasche! Ly a bak! Ly a bak! Lang suak! Lang suak! That! That! That! That! Thair! Thair! Thair! Thair! Zallou hayr! Zallou hayr! Hips bayr! Hips bayr! Til hym al! Til hym al! Viddefullis al! Viddefullis al! Grit and smal! Grit and smal! Ane and al! Ane and al! Heisau! Heisau! Nou mak fast the theyrs!'

"Than the maister cryit: Top zour topinellis! Hail on zour top sail scheitis! Vire zour listaris and zour top sail trossis, and

"Then the master whistled, and cried: Two men above to the mainyard! Cut the lashings, and let the mainsail and topsail fall! Haul down the luff close aboard! Haul aft the mainsail sheet! Haul out the mainsail bowline!' Then one of the mariners began to hail and to cry, and all the mariners answered that same sound: 'Hou! Hou! Pulpeta! Pulpeta! Boulena! Boulena! Darta! Darta![31] Hard out strif! Hard out strif![32] Before the wind! Before the wind! God send! God send! Fair weather! Fair weather! Many prizes! Many prizes! Good fair land! Good fair land! Stow! Stow! Make fast and belay!' Then the master cried, and bade: 'Out with a bounet![33] Veer the trusses! Now hoist!' Then the mariners began to hoist up the sail, crying: Heisau! Heisau! Vorsa! Vorsa! Vou! Vou! One long pull! One long pull! More power! More power! Young blood! Youmg blood! More mud! Mure nud! False flesh! False flesh! Lie aback! Lie alack! Long suak! Long suak! That! That! That! That! There! There! There! There! Yellow hair! Yellow hair! Hips bare! Hips bare! To him all! To him all! Viddefullis al! Viddefullis al! Great and small! Great and small! One and all! One and all! Heisau! Heisau! Now each make fast his!'

"Then the master cried: 'Top your topinellis! Haul on your topsail sheets! Veer your leeches, and your topsail trusses, and hoist the topsail higher! Haul out the

1 Probably more Mediterranean corruptions. 2 Unintelligible. 3 A bonuet was an extra cloth laced to a sail or course for fine-weather sailing. heise the top sail blear! Hail out the top sail boulene! Heise the myszen, and change it ouer to leuart! Hail the loriche and the scheitis! Hail the trosse to the ra!'

"Than the maister cryit on the rudirman: 'Mait, keip ful and by! A luf! Cunna hiear! Holabar! Arryva! Steir clene vp the helme! This and so!'

"Than, quhen the schip vas taiklit, the maister cryit: "Boy to the top! Schaik out the flag on the top mast! Tak in zour top salis and thirl them! Pul douue the nok of the ra in daggar vyise! Marynalis, stand be zour geyr in taiklene of zour salis! Euery quartar maister til his sen quarter! Botis man, bayr stanis and lyme pottis ful of lyme in the craklene pokis to the top, and paucis veil the top vitht pauesis and mantillis! Gunnaris, cum heir, and stand by zour astailzee, euyrie gunnar til hir sen quartar! Mak reddy zour cannons, culuerene moyens, culuerene bastardis, falcons, saikyrs, half saikyrs, and half falcons, slangis, and half slangis, quartar slangis, hede stikkis, murdresaris, pasauolans, bersis, doggis, doubil bersis, hagbutis of croche, half haggis, culuernis, and hail schot! And ze soldaris and coupangzons of veyr, mak reddy zour corsbollis, hand bollis, fyir speyris, hail schot, lancis, pikkis, halbardis, rondellis, tua handit sourdis and tairgis!'

"Than this gaye galiasse, beand in gude ordour, sche follouit fast the samyn schip that the botis man hed sene; and for mair

topsail bowline! Hoist the mizen, and change it over to leeward! Haul the leeche and the sheets! Haul the truss to the yard!'

"Then the master cried to the steersman: 'Mate, keep full and by! Luff! Con her! Steady! Keep close! Steer straight ahead! That will do!'

"Then, when the ship was under sail, the master cried: 'Boy to the top! Shake out the flag on the topmast! Take in your topsails and thirl them! Pull down the nok of the yard in dagger-wise! Mariners, stand to your gear for handling of your sails! Every quartermaster to his own quarter! Boatsman, bear stones and lime-pots full of lime in the craklene pokis to the top, and paucis veil the top with pavises and mantlets! Gunners, come here, and stand by your artillery; every gunner to his own quarter! Make ready your cannons; medium culverins, culverins bastard, falcons, sakers, half sakers, and half falcons, slings and half slings, quarter slings, head sticks, murdering pieces, passevolants, bassils, dogs, double bassils, arquebusses with crooks, half arquebusses, calivers, and hail shot! And ye soldiers and companions of war, make ready your crossbows, hand-bows, fire spars, hail shot, lances, pikes, halberds, rondels, two-handed swords, and targes!'

"Then this gay galliass, being in good order, she followed fast the same ship that the boatsman had seen; and for more speed the galliass put forth her studding[34] sails and a hundred oars on every side.

speid the galiasse pat furht hir stoytene salis, and ane hundretht aris on euerye syde.

"The maister gart his marynalis and men of veyr hald them quiet at rest, be rason that the mouying of the pepil vitht in ane schip stopes hyr of hyr fair. Of this sort the said galiasse in schort tyme cam on vynduart of the tothir schip. Than eftir that thai hed hailsit vthirs, thai maid them reddy for battel.

"Than quhar I sat I hard the cannons and gunnis mak mony hiddeus crak — duf, duf, duf, duf, duf, duf. The bersis and falcons cryit tirduf, tirdt, tirduf, tirduf, tirduf. Than the smal artailze cryit tik, tak, tik, tak, tik, take. The reik, smeuik, and the stink of the gunpuddir fylit al the ayr, maist lyik as Pluto is paleis hed been birnand in ane bald fyer. Quhilk generit sik mirknes and myst that I culd nocht see my lynth about me."

As the period now under consideration was that of the infancy and early growth, if not of the actual birth of that magnificent creation, the British Navy, some lists of the royal fleet, as it stood at different dates, will here be appropriate:—

List[35] of Warships Built, Purchased, or otherwise Acquired by Henry VIII. (1509-1547), and Apparently Lost or Disposed of before the Accession of Edward VI.


  • Built.

†Bought. ‡Taken.


1. Anne Gallant †1512 140 2. Artigo †1544 100 3. Bark of Boullen ‡1522 80 4. Bark of Morlaix ‡1522 60 5. Black Bark †1513 ? 6. Christ †1512 300 7. Dragon *1512 100 8. Fortune *1522 160 9. Gabriel Royal †1509 700 10. Galley Blancherd ‡1546 ? 11. Great Bark *1512 400 12. Great Barbara †1513 400

13. Great Elizabeth †1514 900 14. Great Nicholas †1512 400 15. Great Zabra *1522 50 16. Henry Galley *1512 ? 17. Henry of Hampton †1513 120 18. Jennet Perwyn ‡1511 70 19. John Baptist †1512 400 20. John of Greenwich ‡1523 50 21. Katherine Galley *1512 80 22. Katherine Forteleza †1512 700 22. Katherine Pleasance *1518 100

1 Compiled mainly from information in Oppenheim's 'Admin. of Royal Navy.'

"The master bid all his mariners and men of war hold themselves quietly at rest, by reason that the moving of the people within a ship stops her on her course. In this manner the said galliass in short time came to windward of the other ship. Then, after that they had hailed one another, they made them ready for battle.

"Then where I sat I heard the cannons and guns make many hideous cracks — duf, duf, duf, duf, duf, duf. The bassils and falcons cried tirduf, tirduf, tirduf, tirduf, tirduf. Then the small artillery cried tik, tak, tik, tak, tik, take. The reek, smoke, and the stink of the gunpowder filled all the air, most like as Pluto's palace had been burning in one bad fire: which generated such murkiness and mist that I could not see my length about me." LIST OF WARSHIPS BUILT, ETC.--Continued.

S IT/P. tBvught. Tons. $Hn . tB-ught. Tons. Taken. Taken.

24. Less Bark *1512 160 25. Less Pinnace *1545 60 26. Lesser Barbara †1512 160 27. Lesser Zabra *1522 40 28. Lion ‡1511 120 29. Lizard *1512 120 30. Mary George †1510 300 31. Mary Gloria †1517 300 32. Mary Grace ‡1522 ? 33. Mary and John †1521 ? 34. Mary Guildford *1524 160 35. Mary Imperial *1515 120 36. Mary James (I.) †1509 300

37. Mary James (II.). ‡1545 120 38. Mary Odierne 1545 70 39. Mary Rose *1509 500 40. Mary Thomas ‡1545 100 41. Mawdlyn of Deptford *1522 120 42. Minion *1523 180 43. Primrose *1523 160 44. Rose Galley *1512 ? 45. Roo *1545 80 46. Sovereign (rebuilt) *1509 600 47. Swallow *1512 80 48. Sweepstake *1523 65

2. Called also L'Artique. Sold 1547. 3. "Bullen," i.e. Boulogne. 5. Also called Black Bark, Christopher, and Mark Florentine. 6. Also called Christ of Lynn. She was captured in 1515. 9. Perhaps called also Mary Lorette. 10. Taken from the French. 12. Formerly Maudlin.

13. Formerly Salvator, of Lübeck. Wrecked in 1514. 15. Zabra means pinnace. 18. Taken from Barton. 19. Formerly John Hopton. 22. Genoese built. 27. See 15. 28. Taken from Barton.

30. Probably ex Mary Howard. 35. Rebuilt 1523. 36. Possibly ex James, of Hull. 39. Rebuilt 1536. Overset 1545. 42. Rebuilt of 300 tons, about 1536. Given to Sir T Seymour. 45 Taken by the French, 1547. 47. Rebuilt 1524.

LIST OF THE ROYAL NAVY ON JANUARY 5TH, 1548 (1 EID. VI.) in Archæologia V., 218 (WITH DATES SUPPLIED FOR THE MOST PART FROM Oppenheim, 'Admin of Roy. Navy').

  • Built.

SHIP. f Bought. Tons. Men. Guns. I


o. Henry Grace à Dieu (rebuilt) * 1540 1000 ] 19 [ 103 s Peter (rebuilt) ...... * 1536 600 12 [ 78 s Matthew ....... ' 1539 600 300 10 [ 121 s Jesus ........ ' 1544 700 300 8 [ 66 s Pauncy (Pansy) ..... * 1544 450 300 13 69 s Great Bark ...... ' 1539 500 300 12 [ 85 s Less Bark% ...... 1339 400 250 11 s Murryan" . ...... 1545 500 300 10 I 53 s Struce of Dawske% .... '1' 1544 450 250 0 3.1 s Christopher a . '1' 1546 400 246 2 51 s Trinity Henry ...... * 1519 250 220 1 63 s Sweepstake ....... * 1539 300 230 6 78 s Mary Willoughby * 1536 140 160 0 [ 23

Anne Gallant ..... * 1545 450 250 16 I 46 
Salamander ...... : 1544 300 �')0 9 ] 40 
Hart ........ * 1546 300 2_a) 4 [ 52 
Antelope ....... * 1546 300 200 4 [ 40 
Swallow ....... * 1544 2- 100 8 [ 45 
Unicorn r ....... ; 1544 240 140 6 [ 30 

1 The armament certainly varied at different times.

2 At Woolwich.

3 At Portsmouth.

4 Galleys at Portsmouth.

a Orderd to be rebuilt, 1551.

b Sold, 1551.

c Dawske —Danzig. Sold. 1551.

d Ordered for sale, 1551, but no sold till 1556.

e Taken by the Scots; retsken, 1542; rebuilt, 1��1.

f Ordered for sale, 1551; sold, 1555. LIST OF THE ROYAL NAVY ON JANUARY 5TH, 1548. — continued.

  • Built.

† Bought. ‡ Taken.

Tons. Men. Guns. Ship. Iron. Brase.

  • Jennet
  • New Bark
  • Greyhound
  • Tiger
  • Bull
  • Lion


  • Dragon

a Falcon

  • Black Pinnace.

5 Hind

  • 1539
  • 1523
  • 1545
  • 1546
  • 1546
  • 1536

† 1546

  • l544
  • 1544

180 200 120 140 140 120 120 140 40 120 55 44 55 26 30 40 40 40 37 38 35 48 37 200 200 200 140 f60 42 48 26 42 140 83 80 15 26

  • 1545

80 Spanish Shallop Hare 6 Sun

  • Cloud in the Sun

6 Harp

  • Maidenhead


  • Ostrich Feather

6 Rose Slip 6 Flower de Luce

  • Rose in the Sun

6 Portcullis Falcon in the Fetterlock 7 Grandmistress 7 Murlion 7 Galley Subtle, or Row Galley T Brygandine 7 Hoy Bark 7 Hawthorn

  • Mary Hamborow

8 Phœnix 8 Saker 8 Double Rose 20

  • 1545
  • 1546
  • l56
  • 1546
  • 1546
  • 1546
  • 1546
  • 1546
  • 1546
  • 1516
  • 1516
  • 1546
  • 1545

ț 1545

  • 1544
  • 1545

15 10 20 20 20. 20 20 37 37 43 40 38 45 250 50 250 44 60 37 246 50 50 43 20 20 20 20 20 3. 20 450 40 200 28 19 80 ()

  • 1546

† 1544 f 1546

  • 1545
  • 1546

20 400 40 40 20 67 33 18 4 3 53 ships 11,268 7,780 237 1,850 I The armanient certaiuly Faried at different tiwes. 6 Row Barges nt l'rtsuouth. 5 Pinnaces at l'ortsmonth. Must uf these were sold in 1548-49, 8 In Scotlaud. I At Deptford Stroude. g Wrecked of Rye, 1562. h Orlerel to be rebuilt, 1551. I Ordered to be rebuilt, 1551. i Sold in 1555. k Cundemued, 1551; sold in 1551. 1 Sold in 1655. Of the 7780 men in the fleet, 1885 were soldiers, 5136 mariners, and 759 gunners. The imnportance of Portsmouth, where no fewer than forty-one of the fifty-three vessels were stationed, will not fail to be noticed. By August, 1552, as a list in Pepys's Miscellanies, viii. 143, shows, there had been added to the above the Primrose (launched in 1551), Gyrfalcon (120 tons), Swift (30 tons), Moon, Scven Stars (35 tons), and Bark of Bullen (60 tons), and the Henry Grace à Dieu had apparently been re-named the Edward.[36] There had also been added a French prize, the Black Galley, taken in 1549, and the Lion, taken from the Scots by the Pauncy, but presently lost off Harwich.

The Royal Navy, a History from the Earliest Times to the Present, Volume 1 - The Galley Subtile.png


(From the drawing by Anthony Anthony in the British Museum.)

In 1558, the year of the death of Queen Mary, the Royal Navy had been reduced to twenty-six vessels of 7110 tons in all. In 1565, the eighth year of Elizabeth, there were but twenty-nine ships, of an unknown total tonnage. In 1575, the eighteenth year of Elizabeth, the number of ships had further fallen to twenty-four, and the tonnage was but about 10,470. At that time there were in England one hundred and thirty-five other ships of 100 tons and upwards, six hundred and fifty-six of from 40 to 100 tons, about a hundred hoys, and a large but unstated number of small barks and smacks. Practically the whole of the Royal Navy was engaged against the Spanish Armada in 1588; and an account of the fleet then employed will be found later in the appendix to the history of Philip's attempted invasion.

I insert, for reference purposes, an alphabetical key-list of all the vessels (except a few small prizes taken in 1562, and apparently returned in 1564), which, I have been able to satisfy myself, were acquired for the Royal Navy during the reign of Elizabeth. The tonnages given are only approximate. Almost every contemporary document that pretends to show them differs more or less from every other: —

  • Built.

† Bought. ‡ Taken.

SHIP. Tons. Tons. SHIP. Mary Rose (rebuilt) 18. Mercury Mer Honour Merlin Minion14 Minnikin Moon

  • 1573


  • 1592
  • 1590
  • 1579

† 1560

  • 1595
  • 1586

600 Achutes' 100

  • 1590
  • 1601
  • 1594
  • 1586
  • 1562
  • 1590

ddeantage Advantagia Adventure Advice did2 Answer. 200 50 250 50 250 200 400 800 14 60 500 Antelope (rebuilt) Ark Royal Bluck Dog Bonovolia, galley3 Brygandine Bull (rebuilt)4 Charles Crane Cygnet Defiance Dreadnought5 [Due] Repulse Eagle6 Eleanor, galley7 [Elizabeth] Bonaventure8 Elizabeth Jonas9 Foresight Flight French Frigate Gallerita Garland Nonpareil (rebuilt) 1s N. S. del Rosario Popinjay Post Primrose 16 Primrose, hoy 70 1584 11588 1587

  • 1563

† 1560

  • 1590
  • 1590
  • 1586
  • 1577

1 1596 f1596 1577

  • 1563
  • 1586
  • 1559
  • 1586
  • 1586
  • 1601


  • 1587

ț 1590 1584

  • 1583

90 800 80 200 1570

  • 1586
  • 1590
  • 1585
  • 1590
  • 1573
  • 1596

† 1592 ț 1563 1567

  • 1559
  • 1570
  • 15:12

ț 1591

  • 1602
  • 1590

Quittance Rainbow 17 30 200 500 500) 900 1000 120 200 Revenge 18 St. Andrew 19 St. Mathew 20 Scout 21 Srurch Seven Stars. 500 400 700 Speedwell, galley[37] Spy Sun 600 900 300 50 40 Superlativa. Swallow23 Swiftsure24. Talbot 360 400 ?1573

  • 1573
  • 1585

700 100 500 Tiger (rebuilt)[38] George, hoy (rebuilt) [Golden] Lion (rebuilt) Greyhound Guide Handmaid . Норе 10 Lion's Whelp (I.) i Lion's Whelp (II.) 1 Makeshift (İ.) Makeshift (II.) 1601 1570

  • 1586
  • 1561
  • 1586
  • 1559
  • 1586

† 1560 1602

  • 1596
  • 1563

200 150 1100 Tremontuna 1582

  • 1585
  • 1563
  • 1573
  • 1559
  • 1590

† 1601

  • 1563
  • 1586

Triumph[39] Trust Tryright, galley[40] Vanguard[41] Victory[42] Volatilla Warspite [White] Bear [43] 80 600 500 800 600 1000

1 Converted to a lighter. 2 Condemned, 1599. 3 Ex Eleanor, rebuilt. Sold 1599. 4 Broken up, 1594. 5 Rebuilt, 1592. 6 A Lübecker, used as a hulk. 7 Probably taken from Havre. 8 Rebuilt, 1581. 9 Rebuilt, 1598. 10 Rebuilt, 1584 and 1602. 11 Lost, May 17th, 1591. 12 Bought from E. of Nottingham. 13 Built, 1556. 14 Condemned, 1570. 15 Ex Philip and Mary, rebuilt. 16 Sold, 1575. 17 Rebuilt, 1602. 18 Taken by Spain, 1591. 19 Taken at Cadiz. 20 Taken at Cadiz. 21 Converted to a lighter. 22 Disposed of ca. 1580. 23 Condemned, 1603. 24 Rebuilt, 1592. 25 Converted to a lighter. 26 Rebuilt, 1596. 27 Disposed of ca. 1580. 24 Rebuilt, 1599. 29 (?) Ex Great Christopher. Rebuilt, 1586. 30 Rebuilt, 1599.

At the death of the great Queen in 1603, the effective Royal Navy, according to a list preserved by Monson in his 'Tracts,' corrected and here supplemented, as to certain details from other contemporary sources,[44] was as follows (see table on following page.)

The Royal Navy, a History from the Earliest Times to the Present, Volume 1 - An Elizabethan Ship of War.png


(From Rawlinson MSS. in the Bodleian, iv., 192, folio 20.)

During the reign of Henry VII. the position of officers and men, as regards their pay and "rewards," seems to have remained much as before. The men were given 1s. a week in harbour, and 1s. 3d. Their victuals, early in the reign, cost 1s. 0½d., and later 1s. 2d. a week. Masters received 3s. 4d.; pursers and boatswains, 1s. 8d.; quartermasters, 1s. 6d.; and stewards and cooks, 1s. 3d.

MEN. GUNS. HEAVIER. LIGHTER. SHIPS TONS. 900 340 40 120 500 3 6 8 9 9 1 2 1. 340 40 120 310 40 268 32 100 208 32 268 32 340 40 268 32 230 30 190 30 1:10 30 150 30 150 30 150 30 150 30 150 30 150, 30 150 30 130 20 114 16 130 20 500 4 3 1 8 G.... 500 3 11 7 10 .... .. 400.. 12 18 e 1 4 5 20 .. 30 900 120 .. .. 7 13 .. 20 3... 2 800 100 400.. 4 al5 16 400 4 4 12 12 500 4 4 16 14 400.... & 21 350 2 3 1:3 14 800 100 1,000 120 100 50 45 70 90 80 3000.... 16 14 80 300 13 10 250.. 4 11 10 70 250 2 + 9 11 70 600 70 10 39 600 48 250 2 2 11' 14 70) 250. 4: 8. 14 70 250 2 3 7 8 12 24 47 60 56 46 GO0 500 500 500 70 250.. .. 14 14 500 70 250. 6 12 50 200 2 .. 160... 4 350 400 30 50 200 2 . 160.. .. 33 114 16 30 30 114 16 160.. 20 300 88 12 76 12 88 12 76 12 76 12 250 120 ? ? ? 108.. 120 200 20 250 20 20 20 10 . 4 1 20 101 10 10 200 Quittance . Answer Adcantuge Tiger . Tremontana Scout 108.... 1os 200 200 140 120 48 8 42 81 32 6| 30 5 „Achates Churles Moon Advice. Spy . Merlin. 100 70 6O 16 ol 50 ol 45 40 20 Sun Cygnet. George, hoy Primruse hoy 10 42 shijs 17,055,534 s04 2,008 S,3463260 232 326 213 43 50 2 458 29 58 78, 149 2 3161,274

Mariners. Gunners. Suldiers. ఈ Tutal, all Men.

  • 1TonnE)

Demi Cannon.

: : : : :
:1 :1


: : : :
  • : : : : : : : : : : : : : : :

Iemi Culverin.

:- :
: : : : : : :

Saker. २. শ = Mirtn. Falcun.

: : ::
: : : : : : : : : :
: : : : :: : : : : : : : : : : :: : :
: : : : :

| Falconet.

: : :NCE5 133 41

l'otal Heavier.

: :. : : :
: : : : : :C.
:1 :1

Poltpirce Chambers,

:* * :- 4 :* H : :+ : 01 a. : : : :

F'ow lers.

: : : : : :a. .

Fow ler ('bambers.

: : : : : : : : :.
: :1 : : : : : o.

Curtalds. 1.

: : : : :.


: : : :

Total Lighter. Total, all Guns.

1 The original and meaning of this name are obscure. The ship sometimes is called Mere Honour, sometimes Mer Honour; sometimes Honour de la Mer; and someimes Mary Honora.

2 Or Dieu Repulse.

3 Later corrupted into "Garland."

4 Also called Golden Lion.

5 I.e, "Swift Pursuer" probably. Later corrupted into "Swiftsure."

6 Doubtful whether this belonged to the Royal Navy: perhaps hired.

7 These, converted to lighters, were in use to support the chain at Upnor. a week in harbour,[45] and higher pay at sea. But early in the reign of Henry VIII. an alteration was effected. The nature of this is shown in an agreement[46] made in 1512 between the king and Sir Edward Howard, captain-general of the armed force at sea (or Lord High Admiral). Part of this agreement had better be given at length. It runs thus: —

SIX ANGEL PIECE OF EDWARD VI. (From Ruding's 'Annals of the Coinage of Great Britain.')

"The said admiral shall have under him in the said service three thousand men, harnessed and arrayed for the warfare, himself accounted in the same number, over and above seven hundred soldiers, mariners and gunners that shall be in the King's ship, the Regent. A thousand seven hundred and fifty shall be soldiers; twelve hundred and thirty-three shall be mariners and gunners. ... And the said admiral shall have for maintaining himself, and his diets and rewards, daily during the voyage, ten shillings. And for every of the said captains, for their diets, wages, and rewards, daily during the said cruise, eighteen-pence. ... And for every soldier, mariner, and gunner, he shall have, every month, during the said voyage, accounting twenty-eight days for the month, five shillings for his wages, and five shillings for his victuals, without anything else demanded for wages or victuals, saving that they shall have certain dead shares, as hereafter doth ensue; all which wages, rewards and victual money the said admiral shall be paid in manner and form following: — He shall, before he and his retinue enter into the ship, make their musters before such commissioners as it shall please our said sovereign Lord to depute and appoint; and immediately after such musters shall have been made, he shall receive of our sovereign Lord, by the hands of such as his Grace shall appoint, for himself, the said captains, soldiers, mariners, and gunners, wages, rewards, and victual money, after the rate before rehearsed, for three months then next ensuing, accounting the month as above. And, at the same time, he shall receive for the cost of every captain and soldier four shillings, and for the cost of every mariner and gunner twenty pence; and at the end of the said three months, when the said admiral shall with his navy and retinue resort to the port of Southampton and then and there victual himself and the said navy and army and retinue, he shall make his musters before such commissioners as it shall please his Grace, the King, therefore to appoint within board; and after the said musters so made, he shall, for himself, the said captains, soldiers, mariners, and gunners, receive of our said sovereign Lord, by the hands of such as his Grace shall appoint, new wages and victual money, after the rate before rehearsed, for the three months next ensuing; and so, from three months to three months continually during the said time. ... The said admiral shall have for his dead shares of the ships as hereafter ensueth, that is to say, for the Regent, being of the portage of 1000 tons, 50 dead shares and four pilots; and for the —

Mary Rose Peter Pomegranate Nicholas Reede

of 500 tons, 30½, dead shares. 400 400 23½


Mary and John Ann, of Greenwich Mary George Dragon Barbara of 260 tons 21 dead shares 244 201 223 20 201 160 99 19 300 100 33 39 140 George, of Falmouth Nicholas of Hampton 140 200 97 Martenet 140 224 224 223 20 13 Jennet 70 12 Christopher Davy Sabyan[47] 160 120 25 And for the victualling and refreshing the said ships with water and other necessaries, the said admiral shall ... have two crayers, the one being of three score and fifty tons, wherein there shall be the master, twelve mariners, and one boy; and every of the said masters and mariners shall have for his wages five shillings, and for his victual money five shillings, for every month, accounting the month as above; and every of the said two boys shall have for his month's wages two shillings and sixpence, and for his victuals five shillings; and either of the said masters shall have three dead shares; and the other crayer shall have a master, ten mariners, and one boy, being of the burden of 55 tons, with the same allowances. Also the said soldiers, mariners, and gunners shall have of our sovereign Lord conduct money, that is to say, every of them, for every day's journey from his house to the place where they shall be shipped, accounting twelve miles for the day's journey, sixpence; of which days they shall give evidence, by their oaths, before him or them that our said sovereign Lord shall appoint and assign to pay them the said wages and conduct money. And forasmuch as our said sovereign Lord, at his costs and charges, victuals the said army and navy, the said admiral shall therefore answer our said Lord the one-half of all manner of gains and winnings of the war, that the same admiral, or his retinue, or any of them, shall fortune to have in the said voyage, by land or water; all prisoners, being chieftains, or having our said sovereign Lord's adversary's power; and one ship royal, being of the portage of 200 tons or above, with the ordnance and apparel of every such prize that shall fortune to be taken by them in the said war, reserving to our said sovereign Lord all artillery contained within any other ship or ships by them to be taken."

The document, to put it briefly, shows that at the time of the armament of 1512 the daily pay of an admiral was 10s.; the daily pay of a captain, 1s. 6d.; the lunar monthly[48] wage of master,

1 There are accidentally omitted from this copy of the agreement: —

"John Hopton's Ship" Lion Peter, of Fowey

400 tons. 120 120

These bring the strength of the fleet up to eighteen sail (as mentioned elsewhere in the indenture), or, with the crayers, to twenty sail. soldier, mariner, or gunner, 5s., together with 5s. for victuals, and the lunar monthly wage of a boy, 2s. 6d., together with 5s. for victuals. It also shows that the men were allowed conduct money to the port of embarkation at the rate of 6d. per twelve miles; that the profits of prizes were to be divided, one-half, together with one vessel of 200 tons or more, and all ordnance and "apparel" (? movable fittings) going to the king, and the rest to the captors in stipulated proportions; and it appears to show that, as head money, a sum of 4s. for each captain and soldier, and of 20d. for each mariner and gunner, was payable to the admiral, although this is not quite clear. The "dead shares" were non-existent men, something like the widows' men of a later date. Pay on their behalf was allowed, and the pay so granted was divided among the really existent ship's company. This extra pay took the place of the "rewards" of an earlier period. But it does not appear certain that, after the reign of Henry VIII., the seamen participated in the dead shares.

AN ELIZABETHAN SEAMAN. (From sketch in Harleian MSS. 107. folio 39b.)

In the earlier years of Elizabeth, the seaman's lunar monthly pay was 6s. 8d. In 1586, on the representation of Hawkyns,[49] this was raised to 10s., and other pay was raised in proportion, so that a captain's pay, which had been 1s. 8d., became 2s. 6d. a day, besides certain allowances which varied according to ship and circumstances. The practice of allowing dead shares continued; but little, if any, of the proceeds can have gone to the men, seeing that masters and master-gunners each received a whole dead share, boatswains probably the same; quartermasters half a dead share; some of the gunners one-third of a dead share, and so on. But the subject is still in much obscurity.

In 1588, the superior officers who served against the Armada had daily pay as follows: —[50]

£ s. d.

The Lord High Admiral 3 6 8 Lord Henry Seymour, as his Vice-Admiral 2 0 0 Sir John Hawkyns, as his Rear-Admiral 0 15 0 Sir Henry Palmer Sir William Wynter commanding under Lord Henry Seymour 1 0 0 Sir Martin Frobiser Thomas Gray, "Vice-Admiral" under Lord H. Seymour (while in command of a detached force) 0 6 8 Sir Francis Drake, "Captain and Admiral" 0 10 0 Thomas Fenner, his "Vice-Admiral" 0 15 0 Nicholas Gorges, "Admiral" of the merchant coasters, for him and his lieutenant 0 13 8

It would appear from the above that both rule and consistency were lacking in the apportionment of the pay of these officers; and the fact is that the rate depended quite as much upon the social rank and title of the recipient as upon his position in the fleet. In all these cases there were allowances, though of unknown amount in addition. In the Armada period, it may be added, the master in a flagship was virtually her captain in all senses; and the Thomas Gray, who is mentioned above as having commanded an independent or detached squadron with the temporary rank of vice-admiral, had previously held, and may have reverted to, the position of master of the Ark.

The instructions of Howard of Effingham and Essex to the officers under their command for the Cadiz Expedition of 1596 are so interesting, and throw so much light upon the naval customs of a very important period in English history, that they are here printed at length, so far as they can be deciphered from the damaged manuscript[51] in which they are contained. They are among the earliest instructions extant, and seem to have served as a basis for many subsequent regulations of the same sort.

"Instructions and Articles set down by us, Robert, Earl of Essex, and Charles, Lord Howard, Lord High Admiral of England, Generals of her Majesty's forces employed in this action, both by sea and land, to be observed by every Captain and chief officer of the Navy: And that every ship's company may not be ignorant hereof, we do hereby straitly charge und command all Captains to give order that, at Service time, they may be openly read, twice every week.

"I. Imprimis, that you take special care to serve God, by using of Common Prayers twice every day, except urgent cause enforce the contrary, and that no man, soldier or other mariner do dispute of matters of religion, unless it be to be resolved of some doubts; and, in such case, that he confer with the ministers of the army: for it is not fit that unlearned men should openly argue of so high and mystical matters. And if any person shall forget himself and his duty herein, he shall, upon knowledge thereof, receive open punishment to his shame, and after be banished the army. And if any shall hear it, and not reveal it to us, Generals, or to his Captain, or some other especial officers, whereby the knowledge thereof may come to us, the Generals, he shall likewise receive punishment, and be banished the army.

"II. Item. You shall forbid swearing, brawling, diceing, and such like disorders as may breed contention and disorders in your ships; wherein you shall also avoid God's displeasure and win His favour.

"III. Picking and stealing you shall severely punish; and, if the fault be great, you shall acquaint us, Generals, therewith, that martial law may be inflicted upon the offenders.

"IV. You shall take great care to preserve your victuals, and to observe such orders therein as you shall receive by particular directions from your Generals. And that every Captain of each ship receive an account once a week how his victuals are spent, and what remains, that their provision may be lengthened by adding more men to a mess in time.

"V. All persons whatsoever, within your ship, shall come to the ordinary services of the ship without contradiction.

"VI. You shall give special charge for avoiding the danger of fire, and that no candle be carried in your ship without a lantern; which, if any person shall disobey, you shall severely punish. And if any chance of fire or other dangers (which God forbid) should happen to any ship near unto you, then you shall, by your boats and all other your best means, seek to help and relieve her.

"VII. Your powder you shall carefully preserve from spoil and waste; without which we cannot undertake any great service.

"VIII. You shall give order that your ship may be kept clean daily, and sometimes washed; which (with God's favour) shall preserve from sickness and avoid many other inconveniences.

"IX. You shall give order and especial charge that your top-masts be favoured, and the heads of your masts, and that you have care not to bear too high sail when your ships go by the wind, and especially in a head-sea; for the spoil of our masts may greatly hinder us, and endanger the enterprises which otherwise (with God's help) we should perform with safety.

"X. All Such as are in ships under the government" [of the admiral in char[52]]"ge of a squadron, shall, as near as in them lieth, keep with it, and not for chase of other ships, or any other cause, go from that squadron, but by the command of the admiral of that squadron; unless any of the two Chief Generals shall send for them, or, by message, appoint them to any service, or that, by weather, they be separated. And then, as they may, they shall endeavour to repair to the place appointed by such instructions as shall be set down. And if there be any sail perceived by any of the ships of any squadron, it shall be lawful for the next ship, having the wind, to give chase, the ship descried being to the windward; and the like of any that shall he nearest to bear up, if the sail be descried to the leeward.[53] But because, upon every chase, all will be apt to follow the same, and so be led away upon every occasion from the Fleet, it shall not be lawful for any second ship to follow any chase (one having undertaken the same), unless the admiral of the squadron hang out two flags, one over another. If it be necessary that three do follow, then shall the General, or admiral of the squadron hang out three flags, one over another, which shall be for warrant to the next and fittest to follow as aforesaid. But if the admiral bear up, and come upon a wind himself, then may all the squadron give chase, and follow. Which, if it should seem convenient to any of the Lords Generals of the army, if it please any of them to hang out the flag of council, the same may be a warning that the chase is misliked, and that then all give over and keep their course.

"XI. Every ship shall, towards the evening, seek to come, as near as she conveniently may, to speak with the admiral of the squadron, to know his pleasure and what course he will keep; and that the admiral of a squadron do bear up, or stand upon a wind, to speak with us, their Generals, if he conveniently may. The rest of the squadrons may, notwithstanding, keep their course and distance. And if the admiral of the squadron cannot recover the head of his fleet before night, the rest shall then follow the light of the vice-admiral of the said squadron.

"XII. That every squadron keep a good breadth one from another, and that the squadrons do, in themselves, keep a reasonable breadth one from another, that they fall not foul one of another, whereby danger may grow; and that the great ships have especial regard not to calm the smaller ships. And if any of these smaller ships shall negligently bring themselves in danger of the greater ships, the Captains and Masters especially shall be severely punished. And further, that either the admiral, or rear-admiral of the squadron be always in the rearward of his fleet.

"XIII. When there is a flag of council of the red cross[54] out in either one of the two Generals' ships, half-mast high against the main mizzen,[55] then the Captains and Masters of every ship shall repair on board that ship where the flag is so hung out. And when the flag of arms[56] shall be displayed, then shall the selected Council[57] only come on board.

"XIV. If your ship happen to spring a mast, to fall into a leak, or such mischance (which God forbid), you shall shoot off a piece and spring a loose.[58] If it be in the night, you shall shoot off two pieces and bear two great lights, one a man's height and a half above another.

"XV. Every Captain and Master of the Fleet shall have a special regard that no contention be found betwixt the mariners and the soldiers. And in time of sickness (if any do happen amongst you), you shall, of such good things as are to be had and are needful for them, distribute unto them in such convenient sort as you may.

"XVI.[59] If you happen to lose company, your token shall be [...] main-topsail twice, if it be foul weather, th [...] strike your main mizzen twice, or as often as you list [...] nder [...] re your white pennant on your mizzen yard. And if you shall be of the company of us, your Generals, you shall find us at such place as we will give you instructions for, at sea.

"XVII. If in chasing of any ship you happen to fetch her up, if she be a ship in amity with her Majesty, you shall treat her well, and bring her to us. But if you find her to be an enemy, you shall make no spoil of the goods in her, but shall take the captain and master of her aboard you, and put into her some sufficient persons to bring her forthwith unto us, your Generals, or to such as we shall assign, that order may be taken what shall he done with her.

"XVIII. When you shall be appointed to give chase, and that you shall surprise any enemy's ship that shall have treasure or merchandise of value in her, you shall take great care that those commodities in her be preserved; in respect whereof, and for your loyal and faithful service to be done in this voyage, her Majesty's favour, bounty, and pleasure is that a third part of that which shall be taken from the enemy, so it be not the King's treasure, jewels, or a carrack, shall be employed to the commodity and benefit of the whole company, over and above his ordinary wages, according to his desert.

"XIX. No Captain or Master shall suffer any spoil to be made aboard any ship or bark that shall be taken by them or any of their companies, upon pain to be displaced of their offices, or some great punishment, according to the offence given; because the rest of the company have interest in everything that shall be taken. Therefore the value of every such thing, be it of great or small importance, must especially be regarded and considered of. And whatsoever soldier or mariner that obeyeth not accordingly shall be despoiled of that which he hath gotten, and his person extremely punished.

"XX. Whosoever shall enter aboard any ship, he shall give account of those things which shall be wanting and taken out of her; for that no other company shall board her, unless there shall be need of their help.

"XXI. If we happen to meet with any great fleet, supposed to be the army of the King of Spain, you shall endeavour yourself to come as near us, Generals, or to the admiral of your squadron, or, in our absence, to the vice-admiral, or rear-admiral of the Fleet [as possible], to know what you shall be directed unto, as you will answer it upon the peril of your lives.

"XXII. The watch shall be set every night by eight of the clock, either by trumpet or drum, and singing the Lord's Prayer, some of the Psalms of David, or clearing the glass. And after the watch is set, no trumpet or drum shall be heard, or any piece whatsoever shall be shot off, without such great cause offered as is before signified, or such like.

"XXIII. You are to take especial care of your watch by night, and that the soldiers do watch, as well in harbour as at the seas, one-third part of them every night, that there be a captain of the watch appointed, who shall take care that no fire or light be suffered, but only such candles in lanterns as are allowed to the quartermasters, or otherwise upon necessity: and that in harbour a certain number be appointed to keep diligent watch in the forecastle or beak-head of your ships, for fear of cutting of cables, which is a practice much used in hot countries.

"XXIV. If at any time the Generals have occasion to order a chase, and that order be given to any other slips [...[60]] their flags until their return unto the Fleet, all the [...[61]] shall follow the flag, in what ship soever it be placed: and that whatsoever ship shall be next, the same shall take up our, your General's, boats,[62] when we give chase, or the boats of any of the admirals of squadrons or others whatsoever.

"XXV. No man, upon pain of death, shall presume to land in any country until his return into England, without order from us, your Generals, or such as we shall appoint to command.

"XXVI. No person shall depart out of the ship wherein he is placed into another, without special leave of his Captain: and no Captain or Master shall receive any such person without the knowledge of us, your Generals, or such as we shall appoint.

"XXVII. In fogs (if any happen), when your ships are becalmed, you shall cause some noise to be made, by drum, by trumpet, by shooting off a musket or calliver now and then, or by some other like means, that, hearing you to be near, every one may take heed lest he fall foul of another.

"XXVIII. No person whatsoever shall dare to strike any Captain, Lieutenant, Master, or other officer, upon pain of death. And, furthermore, whatsoever he be that shall strike any inferior person, he shall receive punishment, according to the offence given, be it by death or otherwise.

"XXIX. There shall be no report or talk raised in the Fleet, wherein any officer or gentleman in the same may be touched in reputation; or matter of importance spoken, without his author shall be severely punished as an evil member amongst us."

GOLD RIAL OF ELIZABETH. (From Ruding's 'Annals of the Coinage.')

Up to the twenty-third year of Queen Elizabeth there was no regular provision for the maintenance of seamen disabled in the service of their country. In that year an Act was passed to assess every parish at a certain weekly sum for the support of the disabled sailors and soldiers belonging to the county. In 1590, thanks to the interest displayed in the matter by Nottingham, Hawkyns and Drake, the Chest at Chatham was established. The origin of the mutual benevolent fund known by this name arose out of the consideration "that by frequent employment by sea for the defence of this kingdom" ... divers and sundry, "masters, mariners, shipwrights, and seafaring men, by reason of hurts and maims received in the service, are driven into great poverty, extremity and want, to their great discouragement." It was therefore determined that perpetual relief should be afforded in such cases, and, in order to be able to afford it, it was voluntarily agreed that every man and boy in the navy should regularly forfeit to the fund a small proportion of his monthly wages, such contributions to be from time to time placed "in a strong chest with five locks, to that purpose especially provided." The chest, which is of iron, still exists in Greenwich Hospital, where it was placed by the Admiralty in 1846. The fund, which, before the utilisation of banks, and the value of investments became properly appreciated, the chest contained, continued, under varying regulations, to exist, until in 1803 it was transferred to the supervisors and directors of the chest at Greenwich, and practically became part of the relief funds at Greenwich Hospital. Not until 1829 did the stoppage on behalf of it of sixpence a month from the wages of every seaman of the Royal Navy cease.

Henry VIII. contributed greatly to the creation and development of the bases and arsenals of the navy, and built numerous important works of defence along the coast. He founded Woolwich Dockyard, and much improved the yards at Portsmouth[63] and Deptford, erecting at the latter large magazines and storehouses.

The fortification of Gravesend and Tilbury was his work, as was also the building of the castles at Walmer, Deal, Sandgate, Sandown, Portland, Hurst, Cowes, Camber, Southsea, Queenborough, Pendennis, and St. Mawes. At several of these places there were earlier castles or towers, but Henry's strongholds were, for the most part, much finer coast defences than had previously been seen in England. The sums thus spent may be regarded as having been to a large extent wasted; for, even in those days, they might have been to

CHART OF THAMES MOUTH, 1580. (From original in the possession of the Marquess of Salisbury. Copied by permission.)

better advantage assigned to the increase of the fleet; but in an age when ships were much more at the mercy of the winds and waves than they were when the art of navigation had somewhat further progressed, it would perhaps have been injudicious of the government to neglect these works altogether. At one crisis during his reign, Henry was threatened with a combination between France and the Empire; and, had such an alliance attacked him with all its resources, and seized the most favourable occasion for doing so, it is possible that the coast castles might have proved very useful. Upnor Castle on the Medway, and works at Portland, Hurst, Southsea, Calshot, and elsewhere were built under Elizabeth, who also founded Chatham Dockyard,[64] on the site of the modern gun-wharf. The yard was transferred to its present situation about 1622. Elizabeth, too, improved the defences of Plymouth.[65] Scilly was first garrisoned, and St. Mary's Guernsey, and Jersey were fortified in 1593, when the Treaty of Melun was concluded with France against Spain.

The first real dry dock in England was built at Portsmouth under Henry VII., the superintendent of the work being Robert Brygandine, Clerk of the Ships, and the business being completed in 1496. This dock was of wood and stone, but was not closed by a caisson, or a dock gate on hinges. What were called the "dock gates" were two walls of wood or stone, one within the other, which overlapped and partially blocked the entrance. When a ship, after passing between these walls, had been berthed, the space between the two walls was filled with earth, etc., and the dock then pumped out. Such, at least, are the only conclusions to be plausibly drawn from contemporary accounts of the manner in which this dock was utilised.[66]

Although, as has been said, dockyards were established or improved, the number of dry docks in the country remained very small until after the end of the sixteenth century. From a letter addressed to the Lord High Admiral in 1583, and preserved among Pepys' 'Miscellanies' (viii. 198), it appears that there were then only two queen's dry docks in the Thames, one at Woolwich, and the other probably at Deptford. The writers, Sir John Hawkyns, William Wynter, and William Folstoke, proposed "to enlarge that at Woolwich to that length and bigness that two royal ships at one time might be brought in to be repaired and built within the same."

Before the time of Henry VIII., the general executive government of the navy and some of the various other functions now discharged by the Admiralty were for a long period in the hands of the Admirals-in-Chief, no matter whether they happened to be called at the moment Admirals of the North and of the West, and held divided but co-equal authority, or whether the single head was Lord High Admiral. The civil work was done by the Clerk of the Ships, and occasionally by the King's Chancery. But the increasing business of the service necessitated the erection of more elaborate machinery. A Lord High Admiral continued to be appointed as before. To relieve him, however, of various branches of his duty, especially in his administrative work, civil officers, known as Commissioners, were appointed in April, 1546, to attend to victualling, construction and repair of ships, procuring of suitable ordnance, etc. These civil officers constituted the Navy Board.[67] To assist in the executive business of the Lord High Admiral, the Admiralty Office or Admiralty Board was formed. Full regulations for the conduct of all these officials do not seem to have existed until the time of Edward VI.; and, indeed, it may be assumed that no department of such great importance could, at the mere fiat of an individual, leap at once into full activity and usefulness. The Commissioners of the Navy Office met, apparently from the time of their first appointment, on Tower Hill, in a building which, under Elizabeth, was known as the Queen's Consultation Room. The Board of Admiralty, in the earlier days of its existence, had no fixed home, and met sometimes at the Lord High Admiral's residence and sometimes even afloat.[68]

At the instance of Sir Thomas Spert,[69] Henry VIII. also, in 1513, established what is usually known as Trinity House, but is properly entitled "The Guild of the Holy and Undividable Trinity and St. Clement, at Deptford Strond." It was at first associated to some extent with the navy, part of its duty being to examine into the professional qualifications of officers and petty officers, and to supply seamen as they were needed. In 1566, the master, wardens, and assistants of the Guild were empowered to set up beacons and sea-marks; and, gradually, lighting, buoying, and pilotage fell more and more under their control, until their original connection with the navy became obscured.

Naval punishnments, "according to the custom of the sea," which was extremely barbarous, were much the same in the

sixteenth century as they had been in previous ages; but in the account of Drake's dealings with Thomas Doughty, in 1578, and with Captain William Borough, and the other mutinous people in the Golden Lion in 1587, we have indications of the gradual evolution of the court-martial, and of a more just, if scarcely less severe, administration of marine law. Doughty, charged with a plot against Drake's life, was brought before body of officers, who, hearing him confess himself guilty, as is alleged, unanimously signed the sentence by which he was condemned to death. Borough, convicted before "a general court holden for the service of her Majesty aboard the Elizabeth Bonaventure," was, with his abettors, sentenced in contumaciam, "to abide the pains of death" in case of their being caught. "If not, they shall remain as dead men in law."[70]

The regular seafaring population of England, as distinct from the numerous other people who went to sea upon occasion, was small at the beginning of the sixteenth century, and not large even in the early days of Elizabeth. In 1583, a census of the maritime inhabitants of the country, Wales being excluded, showed that there were 1484 masters, 11,515 mariners, 2229 fishermen, and 957 Thames wherrymen, or in all, 16,255 persons who were in some sort accustomed to the water.

The number does not seem to be proportionate to the very considerable sea-borne trade of the country at that time. Henry VII. had furthered commerce, and at the same time benefited himself, by hiring out to the merchants his own men-of-war, when they were not needed for the service of the State. He also enacted navigation Acts in his first and fourth years, for the encouragement of English shipping. Henry VIII. had hired out many of his ships of war; but the practice had fallen into disuse about 1534. The discoveries of Columbus, Cabot, and the Portuguese had opened fresh markets. The trade with Iceland had received great impetus, owing to the convention of 1488, whereby Denmark undertook not to interfere with it. An advantageous commercial treaty had been concluded with Castille. Henry VIII. had freed the principal rivers of England from weirs and obstructions; suppressed illegal tolls; improved many of the harbours, including Dover, where he built a new pier; encouraged commerce, especially with the Levant, where he appears to have appointed the first consul; and employed his diplomatic agents to advance the interests of the merchants. Under Edward, and under Mary, the Newfoundland trade had been increased and freed from restrictions; English merchants on the continent had been signally protected and encouraged; the African trade had largely grown; the judicial privileges of the merchants of the Steelyard had been withdrawn, and their other privileges curtailed; the Russia Company had been established; and there had been enlarged commercial intercourse with Spain.

But it is true that in 1583, the date of this census, the stimulating atmosphere of the Elizabethan era had not yet produced its full effect upon the energies of the country. The letters patent to the Company of Traders to Barbary were not granted until 1585; and the origins of the East India Company date only from 1600.

Elizabeth seldom neglected an opportunity of asserting the dignity of her country, and vindicating the interests of her subjects, especially where trade was concerned. Her conduct in 1597, in the matter of the dispute with the Hanse Towns, may be taken as typical of her general attitude in such cases. Commercial jealousy had induced the Hanse Towns to persuade the emperor to prohibit the traffic of English merchants with Germany. Elizabeth made remonstrances to the emperor and the electoral princes, and, obtaining no satisfaction, adopted prompt retaliatory measures. By proclamation she ordained that upon the day fixed for the English traders to leave Germany, all merchants of the Hanse Towns should quit England, and the Lord Mayor should seize that locality in London known as the Steel Yard, which the merchants of the Hanse Towns had been privileged to occupy. This was the deathblow to the influence of the Hanseatic League in England. The ultimate effect of it was to throw into English hands great part of that Northern European trade which had previously, for a long period, been the almost exclusive appanage of foreigners.

  1. For much of what here follows, concerning the improvements in the art of navigation, recognition is due to Chap. viii. of Sir Clements Markham’s admirable ‘Life of John Davis, the Navigator,’ in ‘The World’s Great Explorers’ series, London, 1889.
  2. Probably bought or built, 1473.
  3. Bought, 1485. Excheq. Warr. for Issues, January 31st, 1485.
  4. Probably bought, 1470. Excheq. Warr. for Issues, July 18th, 1470.
  5. Bought, 1478.
  6. Re-named Mary and John.
  7. It is known, however, that the Regent was copied from a French ship, the Columbe, of 600 tons.
  8. Son of Sir John Guildford, of Hempsted. He was made Master of the Ordnance in 1486, then Controller of the Household, and, in 1500, a K.G.
  9. These top-masts were separate spars, but fixed, and not strikable.
  10. Later, a Privy Councillor and K.G. He was the architect of St. George's Chapel, Windsor, and of Henry VII.'s Chapel, Westminster.
  11. Nav. Accts. and Inventories of Henry VII. (Oppenheim), pref. xix-xxiv.
  12. Re-named Katherine Pomegranate under Henry VIII.
  13. Nav. Accts. and Inventories of Henry VII. (Oppenheim), pref. xxvii.
  14. Letters and Papers, Hen. VIII. pp. 1464, 1465. Record Office.
  15. Charnock, ii. 43.
  16. Miscellanies, viii.
  17. Most authorities, however, agree that the tonnage was but 1000. The more probable tonnage of all these ships will be found in the table printed infra, p. 419.
  18. Elsewhere generally described as of 500 tons.
  19. 'Archæologia' (App. III.), vi. 216.
  20. See Sir W. Monson's 'Tracts' in Churchill's Voyages, iii.; 'Archæologia,' vi. 189, xi. 170, xiii. 27, etc. Tartaglia's 'Three Books of Colloquies,' translated by Lucar (London, 1588); and S. P. Dom. Eliz. ccxlii. 64. Hardly any two of these agree. The paper Dom. Eliz. ccxlii, 64, is printed at length as an appendix to the 'State Papers relating to the Defeat of the Spanish Armada' (Nav. Rec. Soc.), and contains a table from which the following is extracted: —

    Height (calibre) of the Piece. Weight of the Piece. Weight of the shot. Weight of the Powder. Point blank (range) by the Quadrant. Random (range with elevation).

    Inches. Lbs. Lbs. Score Paces. Paces.

    Cannon Royal 8½ 7000 66 30 .. 1930 Cannon 8 6000 60 27 17 2000 Cannon Serpentine 7½ 5500 53⅓ 25 20 2000 Bastard Cannon 7½ 4500 41¼ 20 18 1800 Demi-Cannon 6½ 4000 30¼ 18 17 1700 Cannon Pedro 6 3000 24¼ 14 16 1600 Culverin 5½ 4500 17⅓ 12 20 2500 Basilisco 5 4000 15¼ 10 .. .. Demi-Culverin 4½ 3400 9⅓ 8 20 2500 Bastard Culverin 4 3000 7 6¼ 18 1800 Saker 3½ 1400 5⅓ 5⅓ 17 1700 Minion 3¼ 1000 4 4 16 1600 Falcon of 2⅓ inches 2⅓ 800 3 3 15 1500 Falconet 2 500 1⅓ 1⅓ 14 1400 Serpentine 1½ 400 13 1300 Robinet 1 300 ½ ½ 12 1000 Falcon. 2½ 660 2⅓ 2¼ 15 1500

    The charges are for "cannon corn powder" (serpentine meal powder). When "fine corn powder" (small arm powder) was used, 25 per cent. less of it was to be employed. The table and directions ate signed "Jo. Sheriffe."

  21. Monson puts the length of the guns mentioned by him at 8 ft. 6 in.; but specimens still extant, dating from about his time, indicate that this was not always correct.
  22. "Cannon Pedro" was the English form of "canon pierrier," and means a gun primarily intended for throwing stone shot.
  23. I.e. couleuvrine — serpent. Compare Basilisk.
  24. Named after the Saker hawk. Compare Falcon.
  25. In the grounds of the Seigneurie, Sark, is a well-preserved brass gun, apparently a falconet, 57 inches in length, and 1⅞ inches in calibre, bearing the following inscription: — "Don de sa Majesté la Royne Elizabeth au Seigneur de Sarcq, A.D. 1572." See p. 412.
  26. Montaine's 'Practical Sea Gunner's Companion,' London, 1747, p. 71.
  27. From a MS. in the Pepysian Library, printed in Charnock, ii. 44.
  28. Though another contemporary says that not less than 300 guns were engaged.
  29. As shown in a list printed in Campbell, viii., from a MS. of Dr. Samuel Knight.
  30. The following is a fairly close translation, so far as the above extract appears to be translatable. In the original, some inconsistencies of spelling and obvious inaccuracies are corrected. In the translation, obscure passages are left in italics:—

    "Then I sat down to see the flowing of the foam; where I looked far forth on the salt flood. There I beheld a galliass gaily caparisoned for the war, lying fast at an anchor, with her sails furled. I heard many words among the mariners, but I knew not what they meant. Yet I shall rehearse and report their crying and their call. In the first [place] the master of the galliass bid the boatsman1 pass up to the top, to look far forth if he could see any ships. Then the boatsman looked so long out that he saw one white sail. Then he cried with an oath, quoth he: 'I see a great ship.'

    "Then the master whistled, and bade the mariners lay the cable to the cable-stock2 to wind and weigh. Then the mariners began to wind the cable with many [a] loud cry. And as one cried, all the rest cried in that same tune, as it had been [an] echo in a cave. And, as it appeared to me, they cried their words as after follows: 'Veer, veer, veer, veer, gentle gallants, gentle gallants! Wind; I see him. Wind; I see him. Pourbossa; pourbossa! Haul all and one! Haul all and one! Haul him up to us! Haul him up to us!"

    "Then, when the anchor was hauled up above the water, one mariner cried, and all the rest followed in that same tune: 'Caupon caupona; caupon caupona; caupun hola; caupun hola; caupun holt: caupun holt: sarrabossa; sarrabossa!'3

    "Then the master whistled, and cried: 'Two men above to the foreyard! Cut the lashings, and let the foresail fall! Haul down to starboard! Luff hard aboard! Haul aft the foresail sheet! Haul out the bowline!"

  31. 1
  32. 2
  33. 3
  34. If "stoytene" be really "studding," the vessel employed studdling sails as well as bonnets. The translation is doubtful.
  35. 1
  36. But she was again known as the Henry Grace à Dieu when she was accidentally burnt on August 25th, 1553.—Machyn's 'Diary': Camd. Soc.
  37. 22
  38. 25
  39. 26
  40. 27
  41. 28
  42. 29
  43. 30
  44. Especially from a MS. list of 1599, which is printed in 'Archæologia,' and which, in 1797, belonged to Dr. Leith of Greenwich.
  45. Augmt. Off., bk. 316, f. 72.
  46. Printed in Charnock, ii. 36.
  47. 1
  48. Lunar months, of thirteen to the year, were there, and long afterwards, the ordinary official divisions of the year. A MS. list of the services of captains from 1688 to 1717 (in the Author's Coll.) contains such entries as one to the effect that Captain John Norris entered on the command of the Content, prize, on March 24th, 1695, and was discharged from it on February 25th, 1696 (O. S.), having served in the ship for 0 years, 12 months, 0 weeks, and 3 days. For many purposes, the naval month remained twenty-eight days until after the beginning of the nineteenth century. At present, in the Navy, 1 month equals 30 days; 2 months equal 61 days; 3 months equal 91 days; 4 months equal 121 days; 5 months equal 152 days; 6 months equal 182 days; 7 months equal 212 days; 8 months equal 243 days; 9 months equal 273 days; 10 months equal 303 days; 11 months equal 334 days; and 12 months (1 year) equal 365 days, unless otherwise provided.
  49. Dom. Eliz. clxxxv. 33, ii.
  50. From a paper, printed in 'Defeat of Spanish Armada' (Navy Rec. Soc.) by Prof. J. K. Laughton, ii. 314.
  51. Cotton MSS. Otho. E. ix.
  52. There is a hiatus. These words are conjecturally supplied.
  53. This permission is difficult to reconcile with the first clause of the instruction. Apart from that, it is wrongly expressed. But the meaning is clear.
  54. The St. George's flag.
  55. Main mizzen, apparently the third mast of a four-masted ship.
  56. I.e., with the Queen's arms.
  57. The Council of Five Officers, and the extra members, if any, appointed by the Generals. See Chap. xiv.
  58. Seventeenth-century instructions bade the disabled ship haul up her courses. "Spring a loose" seems to mean, "let fly."
  59. The MS. is too much damaged to admit of this instruction being intelligible.
  60. Possibly insert, "to take them on board, and to carry."
  61. Probably insert, "other ships."
  62. I.e., the boats in which the Generals had proceeded on board the temporary flag-ships.
  63. "The land here, on the east side of Portsmouth Haven, runneth further by a great way straight into the sea, by south-east from the haven mouth, than it doth at the west point. There is, at this point of the haven, Portsmouth town, and a great round tower, almost double in quantity and strength to that which is on the west side of the haven, right against it; and here is a mighty chain of iron to draw from tower to tower. About a quarter of a mile above this tower is a great dock for ships, and in this dock lieth part of the ribs of the Henri Grace à Dieu, one of the biggest ships that have been made in hominum memoria. There be above this dock creeks in this part of the haven. The town of Portsmouth is fended from the east tower ... with a mud wall armed with timber, whereon are great pieces both of iron and brass ordnance; and this piece of the wall, having a ditch without it, runneth so far flat south-south-east, and is the most apt to defend the town there open on the haven. There runneth a ditch almost flat east for a space, and within it is a wall of mud like to the other, and so thence [it] goeth round about the town to the circuit of a mile. There is a gate of timber at the north-east end of the town; and by it is cast up a hill of earth ditched, wherein are guns to defend entry into the town by land. There is much vacant ground within the town wall. There is one fair street in the town, from west to north-east. I learnt in the town that the towers in the haven mouth were begun in King Edward the Fourth's time, and set forward in building by Richard the Third. King Henry the Seventh ended them at the procuration of Fox, Bishop of Winchester. King Henry the Eighth, at his first wars into France, erected in the south part of the town three great brewing-houses, with the implements, to serve his ships at such time as they should go to the sea in time of war. One Carpenter, a rich man, made of late time, in the middle of the High Street of the town, a Town House. The town is bare, and little occupied in time of peace." — Leland, 'Itinerary,' iii., pp. 81, 82. Leland was on his journey between 1536 and 1542; so that this description of Portsmouth applies to the town as it then was. The allusion to the ribs of the Henri Grace à Dieu is obscure, seeing that the ship was in existence until a later date.
  64. Camden describes Chatham Dockyard as "stored for the finest fleet the sun ever beheld, and ready at a minute's warning, built lately by our most gracious sovereign Elizabeth, at great expense, for the security of her subjects and the terror of her enemies, with a fort on the shore for its defence." The original dockyard became the gun wharf in the reign of James I., who began the existing yard on a site farther to the north. This was enlarged and much improved under Charles I.
  65. The most ancient fort for the defence of Plymouth was built in the reign of Edward III. by Edmund Stafford, Bishop of Exeter, and is described by Leland as "a strong castle quadrate, having at each corner a great round tower." This fortress stood on the south of the town, near the Barbican. In the reign of Elizabeth, numerous blockhouses and platforms were erected on different points of the shore of the harbour; and several of then were, about the year 1592, combined into a fort, called the Fort on the Hoe Cliffs. This was demolished upon the building of the citadel in 1670-71.
  66. Chapter House, bk. vii. passim, printed in Oppenheim's 'Nav. Accts. and Inventories of Hen. VII.'
  67. The Navy Board was established by patent of April 24th, 1546. The officers then appointed were a Lieutenant of the Admiralty (whose post was never refilled after the death of the second occupant); a Treasurer; a Comptroller; a Surveyor; a Master of the Ordnance of the Navy (whose post was not refilled when it fell vacant for the third time, in 1598); and, at first, a couple of extra officers. In 1550, a Surveyor of Victuals was also appointed. The sequence of officers in these posts, up to the end of the reign of Elizabeth, was as follows:—

    Lieutenant of the Admiralty:
    April 24, 1546, Sir Thomas Clere.
    Dec. 16, 1552, Sir William Woodhouse.

    Comptroller of Ships:
    April 24, 1546, William Broke.
    Dec. 12, 1561, William Holstock.
    1589, William Borough.
    Dec. 20, 1598, Sir Henry Palmer.

    Treasurer of Marine Causes:
    April 24, 1546, Robert Legge.
    July 8, 1549, Benjamin Gonson, senr.
    Jan. 1, 1578, John Hawkyns.
    (In abeyance from Nov. 12, 1595.)
    Dec. 22, 1598, Fulke Greville, Lord Brooke.

    Surveyor of Ships:
    April 24, 1546, Benjamin Gonson, senr.
    July 8, 1549, William Wynter.
    July 11, 1589, Sir Henry Palmer.
    Dec. 20, 1598, John Trevor.

    Clerk of the Ships:
    April 24, 1546, Richard Howlett.
    Oct. 10, 1560, George Wynter.
    March 24, 1580, William Borough.
    Nov. 6, 1588, Benjamin Gonson, junr.
    1600, Peter Buck.

    Master of the Ordnance of the Navy:
    April 24, 1546, Sir William Woodhouse.
    Dec. 16, 1552, Thomas Windham.
    Nov. 2, 1557, William Wynter (who held it, with the Surveyorship, until his death in 1589, when the office ceased to exist).

    Surveyor of Victuals:
    June 28, 1550, Edward Baeshe.
    June 30, 1587, James Quarles.
    Nov. 8, 1595, Marmaduke Darell.

    Extra Officers:
    April 24, 1546, William Holstock.
    April 24, 1546, Thomas Morley.

    [A continuation of these lists will be found in Chapter XVII.]

  68. It may still meet wherever convenience dictates.
  69. He died in 1541. On his monument in St. Dunstan's, Stepney, he is called "Comptroller of the Navy," but there was no such office in 1541. The error arises from the monument being of a much later period. He was Clerk of the Ships in 1538.
  70. This quarrel between Drake and Borough was afterwards peaceably patched up.