sued reprisals on both sides, trade was paralyzed, and war was on the point of breaking out, both on the occasion of the Northern Rising (1569) and at the time of the Ridolfi conspiracy in 1571. The impnident Spanish ambassador, Don Gerau Despes, was tlien expelled from England, Philip having
Creviously dismissed from Spain the English am- assador, Dr. .Mann, an apostate priest, whose se- lection was naturally considered an insult. Whilst the Spanish fleet was fighting the cause of Chris- tianity against the Turks at Lepanto (1572), Drake thrice sacked the almost defenceless colonies on the Spanish Main, from which he returned with enormous booty (1570, 1571, 1.572-73). Slightly better rela- tions between the two countries ensued towards the close of this decade, when Elizabeth feared that, with the decay of Spanish power in the Netherlands, France might conquer that country for herself. So in 1578 a Spanish ambassador was received in London, though at the same time Drake was al- lowed to sail on his great buccaneering voyage round the world. On his return public opinion began to condemn aloud the "master-robber of the New World ", but Elizabeth exerted herself warmly in his favour, gave him the honour of knighthood, and three years later, immediately before sending her army to fight the Spaniards in the Netherlands, she despatched him once more to spoil the West Indies. It was then that Drake "convinced Spain that in self-defence she must crush England " (J. R. Seeley, Growth of British Policy). Mr. Froude and the older panegyrists of Queen Eliza- beth frequently justify the English piracies as acts of retaliation against the cruelties of the Inquisition, and maintain that Philip had given cause for war by encouraging plots against Elizabeth's throne and life. The prime motive of the Armada, they say, was to overthrow Protestantism. But these state- ments cannot be substantiated, and are misleading (see Laughton, p. xxii; Pollen, The Month, Feb- ruary, March, April, 1902). It is true that the ineffective attempts of Spain to shut out the rest of Europe from traffic with her colonies were unwise, perhaps unjust, and acted as an incentive to secret and unwarranted traffic. But it must also be re- membered that trade monopolies flourished in England to such an extent that her pirates may have taken to that profession because honourable trading was so much impeded (Dasent, Acts of Privy Council, VII, p. xviii). On the other hand, one must unreservedly blame the cruelties of Alva and of the Spanish Inquisitors, which much em- bittered the struggle when it had once begun.
II. The Conflict.— Since July, 1580, Philip had begun to regard the English freebooters in a new light. He had then made good by force of arms his claim to the crown of Portugal, by which he became lord over the rich and widely-stretching Portuguese colonies. If he did not soon bestir him- self to defend them, they would be lost as well as robbed. He was, moreover, now the master of a considerable fleet. The danger from the Turk had been greatly diminished. The religious wars had sapped the power of France. James of Scotland had broken the trammels with which Elizabeth had bound him during his boyhood, and he showed some desire to help his mother, (Jueen Mary, and slie might persuade the English Catholics to support the army that should be sent to liberate her. But Philip arrived at his conclusion so very slowly and silently that it is hard to say when he passed from speculative approbation of war to the actual deter- mination to tight. In April, May, and Jvme, 1587, Drake cruised off the coast of Spain and, contrary to Elizal>eth's wish, attacked the Spanish shipping, burnt the half-finishe<l and unmanned ships at Cadiz, and did enormous damage to the Spanish
navy. Philip, at last convinced that fight he must, now began to exert himself to the utmost. But his inefficiency as an organizer was never more evident. Slow, inactive, and not only ignorant of the secret of .sea-power, but unwilling to admit that there was any special need for expert advice and direction, he wasted months on making plans of campaign while the building and victualling of the fleet was neglected. The Spaniards of that day were reputed the best soldiers in the world, but in naval manann res and in the use of heavy artillery they were far be- hind their rivals. The worst blunder of all waa committed after the death of the Marquess of Santa Cruz, Don Alvaro de Bazan the elder, a veteran sailor, the only naval commander of repute that Spain possessed. Philip after long consideration, appointed the Duke of Medina Sidonia to succeed him. In vain did the duke protest his inability and his lack of experience in naval matters. The king insisted, and the great nobleman loyally left his splendid castle to attempt the impossible, and to make in good faith the most disastrous errors of leadership. A striking comment on the inefficiency of the vast preparations is afforded bj the letters of the papal nuncio at Philip's court. He reports at the end of February, 1588, that he had been talking with the other envoys from Germany, France, and Venice, and that none of them could make out for certain that the fleet was intended to attack Eng- land after all, for which they all thought it far too weak. Next month he was reassured by one of Philip's own councillors — they felt sure all would go well, ij they once got a footing in England (Vatican Archives, Germania, CX sq., 58, 601. The Armada left Lisbon on the 20th of May, 1588. It consisted of about 130 ships, and 30,493 men; but at least half the ships were transports, and two-thirds of the men were soldiers. It was bound for Flanders, where it was to join the Prince of Parma, who had built a number of pontoons and transports to carry over his army. But the fleet found it necessary to put back into the harbour of Corunna almost immediately, in order to refit. The admiral was already suggest- ing that the expedition should be given up. but Philip continued to insist, and it sailed again on the 12th of July, according to the old style then observed in England. This time the voyage prospered, and a week later the Armada had reassembled at the Lizard and proceeded next day, Saturday, 20 July, eastwards towards Flanders. Beacon lights gave notice of their arrival to the English, who hurriedly put out from Plymouth and managed to slip past the Spaniards in the night, thus gaining the weather gauge, an advantage they never afterwards lost. The fighting ships of the Armada were now ar- ranged in a crescent, the transports keeping between the horns, and in this formation they slowly ad- vanced up channel, the English cannonading the rearmost, and causing the loss of three of the chief vessels. Still on Saturday afternoon, 27 July, the Spaniards were anchored in Calais roads, in sore need of refitting indeed, but with numbers still almost intact. According to the best modern authorities, these numbers, which had been at first slightly in favour of Spain, now that the English had received reinforcements and that the Spaniards had met with losses, were in favour of the English. There were about sixty warships in either fleet, but in number and weight of gims the advantage was with the English, and in gunnery and naval tactics there was no comparison at all. Howard did not allow his enemy any time to refit. The next night soine fircslups wore drifted into the Armada as the tide flowed. The Spaniards, ready for this danger, slipped their cables, but nevertheless suffered some losses from collisions. t)n the Monday following, the great battle took place off Gravelines, in whicJ)