Lord Howard of Effingham, the Admiral of the English fleet, sent this report to Francis Walsingham 21 July (SP 12/212)
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S[i]r I will not trouble you w[i]th anie longe l[ett]re we are at this p[re]sent otherwise occupied then w[i]th writinge. Uppo[n] ffridaie at Ply mouthe I receaved intelligence that there were a greate number of ships descried of[f] of the Lisarde wheruppo[n] althoughe the winde was verie skante we firste warped oute of harbro that nyghte and uppo[n] Saterdaie turned oute verie hardly the winde beinge at Southe Weste and aboute 3 of the clo[ck] in the afternone descried the Spanishe fleete and [ ] did what we could to worke for the wind w[h]ich [ ] morninge we had recovered.discryinge theire f[leet?] consiste of 120 saile whereof there are 4 g[alleasses?] and many ships of greate burthen. At nine of th[e] [clock?] we gave them feighte w[hi]ch contynewed untill on[e ? ] feighte we made som of them to beare Roome to stop the[ir ?] leaks not w[i]thstandinge we durste not adventure to put in amongste them theire fleete beinge soe stronge But there shall nothinge be eather neglected or unhasarded that may worke theire overthrowe.
S[i]r the captaines in her ma[jes]t[y]s ships have behaved them selves rnoste bravely and like me[n] hitherto and I doubt not will contynewe to theire greate comendac[i]on. And soe recome[n]din[g] oure good successe to yo[u]r godlie praiers I bid you har telie farewell, from aboard the Arke thwarte of Plymmouthe the 21 of Julie 1588. youre verie lovinge friend C.Howard
Sir The Southerly wynde That brought us bak fro[m] The cost of spayne brought The[m] out God blessed us w[ith] Torny[n]g us bak. Sir for The love of God and our Country let us have w[ith] some sped some graet Shot sent us of all begnes. For This sarvis wyll Contynue long and some powder w[ith]it.