Source 3c

Part three of a letter from John Hawkins to Francis Walsingham (SP 12/213)


nowe this fleet is heere and very forcible, and must be wayted upon with all o[u]r force, which is littell ynoughe, ther would be an Infinite qua[n]tity of powder and shot p[ro]vided and contitinuallye sent aborde, w[i]thout the w[hi]ch great hasarde may growe to our Country, for this is the greatest and strongest co[m]binac[i]on to my understanding, that ever was gathered in Christendome, therefore I wishe it of all hands, to be mightelye and diligentlye loked into, and cared for.

The men have ben long unpayed and need releef, I pray yo[u]r Lo[rd]sh[ip] that the mony, that should have gone to Plymothe

may now be sent to Dover, August now comethe in, and this cost will spend ground tackle, Cordage, Canvas and victualls, all w[hi]ch would be sent to dover in good plentye. withe these things and gods blessinge our kingdome maye be p[re]served w[hi]ch being neglected great hasard maye come. I write to yo[u]r Lo[rd]shipe bryeflye and playnlye, your wisdorne and experience is great, But this is a matter far passing all that hathe been seene in our time or long before. And so praying to god for a hapye deliveraunce, fro[m] the malicious and dangerous practise of our enemys, I humblie take my leave from the sea aboarde the victorye. the Last of July 1588.

The spaniards take ther course for Schotland, my Lo[rd] dothe follow them. I doubt not w[i]th gods favour, but we shall impeache ther landinge, ther must be order for victuall, and mony powder and shot to be sent after us.
your LI[ordship’s] Humbly to comand
John Hawkyns

This is the copy of the letter I send to my lord tresorer wher by I shall not nede to wryt to your honoure hellp us w[i]t[h] fournyturre & w[i]t[h] gods favour we shall confound ther devyces. your Honours ever bownden
John Hawkyns

I pray your honour beare w[ith] this for yt ys done in hast & bad wetar.I.J.

« Return to God blew and they were scattered

3. The dates mentioned in this account are based on an old calendar which is slightly different from the one we use now. These events took place at the end of July and first week of August according to our calendar.

  • According to Hawkins, what was the main problem for the English fleet in the battle near Portland?
  • Why was the ‘fyring of ships’ a turning point in the fighting?
  • Does Hawkins think that the English have a chance to beat the Spanish Armada?
  • What is causing the biggest problem to the Spanish ships?
  • Does Hawkins seem confident that the Spanish have been defeated?
  • Why did the English chase the Spanish as they sailed towards Scotland?