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Howard
Howard
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sick were sent ashore at Margate, where there were no houses provided for their reception; and it was only by Howard's personal exertions that lodging was found for them in 'barns and such outhouses.' 'It would grieve any man's heart,' he wrote, 'to see them that have served so valiantly to die so miserably.' The queen demurred to the expenses thus involved. Howard had already paid part of the cost of maintaining the fleet at Plymouth, sooner than break it up in accordance with the queen's command, and his available means, which were not large considering his high rank, were exhausted (Cal. State Papers, Dom., 19 June); but 'I will myself make satisfaction as well as I may,' he said in reference to this additional outlay, 'so that her Majesty shall not be charged withal' (Froude, xii. 433-4).

During the years immediately following the destruction of the 'Invincible Armada' Howard had no employment at sea. His high office prevented his taking part in the adventurous cruising then in vogue [cf. Clifford, George, third Earl of Cumberland], and no expedition on a scale large enough to call for his services was set on foot, though one to the coast of Brittany was proposed in the spring of 1591 (Cal. State Papers, Dom., 12 March 1591). He was meantime occupied with the defence of the country and the administration of the navy. He has the official, and probably also the real, credit of organising the charity long known as 'The Chest at Chatham' [cf. Hawkins, Sir John], which was founded by the queen in 1590 'by the incitement, persuasion, approbation, and good liking of the lord admiral and of the principal officers of the navy' (Chatham Chest Entry Book, 1617-1797, p.1).

In 1596 news came of preparations in Spain for another attempt to invade this country, and a fleet and army were prepared and placed under the joint command of Howard and the Earl of Essex [see Devereux, Robert, second Earl of Essex], equal in authority, the lord admiral taking precedence at sea and Essex on shore, although in their joint letters or orders Essex's signature, by right of his earldom, stands first. The fleet, consisting of seventeen ships and numerous transports, arrived off Cadiz on 20 June and anchored in St. Sebastian's Bay. It was determined to force the passage into the harbour on the following morning. After a stubborn contest the Spanish ships gave way and fled towards Puerto Real. The larger vessels grounded in the mud, where their own men set them on fire. Two of the galeons only, the St. Andrew and St. Matthew, were saved and brought home to be added to the English navy. An 'argosy,' 'whose ballast was great ordnance,' was also secured. The other vessels, including several on the point of sailing for the Indies with lading of immense value, which were destroyed, might have been taken had not Essex landed as soon as the Spanish ships gave way. Howard, who had been charged by the queen to provide for her favourite's safety, was obliged to land in support of him (Monson, 'Naval Tracts,' in Churchill's Voyages, iii. 163). The town was taken by storm, and was sacked, but without the perpetration of any serious outrage. The principal officers of the expedition, to the large number of sixty-six, were knighted by the generals, the forts were dismantled, and the fleet again put to sea. The council of war, contrary to the views of Essex, agreed with the admiral that it was the sole business of the expedition to destroy Spanish shipping, and they returned quietly to England without meeting any enemy on the way. Howard's caution, which was with him a matter of temperament rather than (as is sometimes asserted) of age, was undoubtedly responsible for the comparatively small results of the enterprise. He declined all needless risk, and his judgment, in the queen's opinion, was correct. 'You have made me famous, dreadful, and renowned,' she wrote to the generals on their return, 'not more for your victory than for your courage, nor more for either than for such plentiful liquor of mercy, which may well match the better of the two; in which you have so well performed my trust, as thereby I see I was not forgotten amongst you.' Elizabeth, however, was, after her wont, very angry when Howard applied for money to pay the sailors their wages. She asserted that the men had paid themselves by plunder, and that she had received no benefit from the expedition.

An angry feeling which had arisen between Essex and Howard was increased the following year, when, on 22 Oct., Howard was created Earl of Nottingham, the patent expressly referring not only to his services against the Armada in 1588, but to his achievements in conjunction with Essex at Cadiz. Essex claimed that all that had been done at Cadiz was his work alone, and resented the precedence which the office of lord admiral gave Howard over all non-official earls. The queen appointed Essex earl marshal, thus restoring his precedence; but the relations between the two were still strained (Chamberlain, p.38).

In February 1597–8 some small reinforcements sent to the Spanish army in the Low Countries were magnified by report into alarge force intended for the invasion of Eng-