271. Instructions given by the Duke of Medina Sidonia to the
Shipmasters on the Armada at Lisbon.
Rations :—Each man is to receive 1½ lbs. of biscuit per day, or
2 lbs. of fresh bread on the days that biscuit is not served out.
The ration of wine is to consist of a third of an azumbre (fn. 1) of
Sherry, or the same of Lamego, Monzon, Pajica, and Condado wine ;
but only a pint of Candia wine must be served as a ration, that wine
being stronger than the others, and it will bear a double quantity
of water. The wine to be first used is Condado and Lisbon wine,
and then, successively, Lamego and Monzon ; Sherry and Candia
being consumed last, as those wines bear a sea voyage better. Any
pipes of Condado or Lisbon wine that may become spoilt in consequence
of being kept will not be credited to you, and you will
have to pay for them at the price of Sherry.
On Sundays and Thursdays every man will receive 6 ounces of
bacon and 2 ounces of rice. On Mondays and Wednesdays 6
ounces of cheese and 3 ounces of beans or chick peas. On
Wednesdays. Fridays, and Saturdays you will distribute per man
6 ounces offish, tunny or cod, or, in default of these, 6 ounces of
squid, or five sardines, with 3 ounces of beans or chick peas. It
must be borne in mind that two different sorts of rations must not
be served out on the same day. Oil must be served out on all fish
days, one ounce and a half being the ration. Vinegar is to be
distributed also on the same days, a quarter of a pint for each
ration. (fn. 2)
All rations to be served out strictly by the measures and weights
which have been supplied to each ship.
Sufficient water must be given to each man for drinking and
cooking purposes, but the ordinary water ration must not exceed
three pints a day for all purposes, although a larger consumption
has been provided for in consequence of the waste that usually takes
place by leakage, &c. If any excess in this respect takes place it
may cause serious trouble.
You will carefully inspect the stores constantly, and anything that
you see is becoming had you will serve out at once, nothing else
being distributed until that be finished ; so that nothing shall be
wasted. If any stores be wasted by your negligence you shall pay
You must not serve out more than the ordinary ration to any
captain, ensign, sergeant, corporal, or other official ; nor to any
drummer, fifer, or other without my order. Anything served out
in excess will be debited to your account, unless by orders of the
Duke or the Provedore Don Bernabé de Pedroso.
Lists to be made of all men on your ship, signed by the Inspector-General
and pursers of the fleet ; and by these lists you are daily to
distribute the rations. In the case of the death or transhipment of
any man, his name is to be struck off the list, even though the
captain or ensign may claim his ration. Such ration is to be
discontinued from the day the man leaves the ship, except by order
of the Inspector-General or purser, of the fleet. Reports must be
made every week, if possible, of any reduction of the company on
If for any reason, of scarcity or other, rations are omitted or
shortened on any day, the ration or quantity short is not to be made
up by distribution of a larger quantity on another day. The ship's
notary must be present at and take proper account of all distribution
of rations, his book to be signed every day by himself and the
captain or ensign of infantry on board, or, in their absence, by the
sergeant or corporal in charge. The military officer in charge will
have to give you vouchers for all stores he may have received from
you, specifying the days of receipt and nature of the stores. These
vouchers, signed by you and certified by the ship's notary, will
then, if in order, and not otherwise, be credited to your stores
If the hurry of the embarkation should prevent proper lists of
soldiers being made in accordance with the above order, you will
give out the rations for the number of men only specified in the
certificate signed by me, as the contingent to be shipped on board
your vessel. This is, however, only to be done until you can have a
proper list drawn up.
In order that the ration oil should not be consumed in the lanterns
for the watch, two arrobas (fn. 3) of oil have been served out to you for
the lanterns, on the estimate that an arroba a month will be needed
for that purpose on ships of 300 tons and upwards.—Lisbon,
21st April 1588.
272. Advices from England.
The people of London have offered the Queen 20 armed ships, and
those of Bristol six ; other towns according to their capabilities
doing the same. The Queen's ships are again arming, and 50 more
ships will be added to the fleet.
A muster of 10,000 men has been held in London, most of whom
will be put on board these ships. Good preparations have been
made all over the country, the people being all armed and officers
appointed. The four great ships of the Queen, and one of the earl
of Leicester, have not yet sailed, but efforts were being made to get
Drake is awaiting the Bristol ships and others, to the number of
20 sail, besides those he has, his orders being to sail on the 24th
instant, which is the 4th May of our style.
273. Sampson's Advices from England.
Don Antonio was with the Queen on the 19th. She was full of
caresses and promises, and he returned contented to London the
same day. He has sent a man named Juan Diaz Barela to Barbary ;
and last Thursday went for pleasure to Brentford with four persons
only, intending to stay there about 10 or 12 days. Antonio de
Brito and his sons' governor, Fray Diego Carlos, are with him. The
rest stay in London.
Don Antonio intends to go to Holland, he having arranged with
the deputies who came, and he has sent to take a house at Utrecht.
He will take with him Edward Perrin, and a dog he is very fond of;
and which caused him to be recognised when the Admiral caught
him before. The Admiral took him to the fleet with great ceremony
and rejoicing, firing a royal salute, and accompanied him to Court.
The Queen expressed her sorrow at his small regard for her, to wish
to leave her country in that manner, seeing how little cause she had
given him to treat her so. She begged him to be tranquil where he
was, and to cast aside suspicion, if lie entertained any, as she would
never do anything to his detriment. Don Antonio excused himself
as well ns he could, and they became the best of friends. They
agreed to spread the rumour that he had gone to see the fleet, and
he returned to his house in London. He has only seen the Queen
once since then.
274. Advices from London.
The 20 ships that have been fitted out in London for Drake have
French, not yet sailed, and will not be ready to leave under a month.
Drake will be weak without these ships.
The Admiral has only about 26 ships, but he has reinforced them
with double complements of men. He is not at the present time at
sea, having retired to land for a short time. Four of the Queen's
great ships have been brought to shore, as being too old, and
not having been afloat for a long time they leaked and were
Great preparations are being made here on all sides, owing to the
alarm they are in.
It is said here that Drake's men have captured a Biscay ship and
brought her in. She is from Seville, and they have thus discovered
the great preparations that are being made in Spain.
There is but little hope entertained here of the peace negotiations
275. The King to Bernardino de Mendoza.
I note in your letters about England the excellent hints you were
giving to Julio, which could not be improved upon, and also the
good steps he was taking to discover the negotiations being conducted
by his ambassador, and to frustrate the evil designs of the
French. Continue in the same path, conducting everything towards
the end in view, and since you are so satisfied with Julio, and you
think it will be needful to give him some more money, you will use
your own discretion in the matter ; bearing in mind, however, that
a short time ago a sum of money was given to him, Hopes must be
held out to him that the principal reward will be conferred upon
him later, if he continues as heretofore ; but give him at present only
what is needful. You will also try to get him to exert his influence
to prevent Don Antonio from changing his place of residence, which
will not be very difficult, for your advices from England say they
will not let him go.
It is desirable that your correspondence with my nephew the
duke of Parma should be very close, and that you should give him
information of the smallest particulars you hear of the negotiations
with England, as it is of the highest importance that he should
know of them. It would be very desirable if the passage of
Frenchmen from Boulogne, which you speak of, should be prevented
The earl of Morton and Colonel Semple are going on an excellent
mission, and considering the colours in which Bruce's letters paint
the present condition of Scotland, it is possible that when Morton
and Semple arrive there some good effect may be produced.
You will continue to encourage them, more especially in the
intention of crossing the English border when they see the country
attacked in another quarter.—Madrid, 24th April 1588.
276. The King to Bernardino De Mendoza.
The Armada I have collected in Lisbon being now ready to sail,
and only awaiting a fair wind, I wish to say that it may be that
some of the ships, especially the galleys and galleasses, may enter
French ports, although they will endeavour to avoid doing so. In
such case you will be on the watch, and will arrange that they shall
be supplied with what they require in the ports and be allowed to
put to sea again at once. The orders given on the Armada are that
the masters of any vessels that may be thus obliged to separate
and put into port should address themselves to the governors, with
letters from the duke of Medina Sidonia, if they can obtain them,
and if not, as my subjects and vassals entering the ports of a country
with which I am at peace, to enjoy the privileges accorded by the
treaties of alliance between the Christian King and myself. You
will therefore see that in any such cases they are well treated, and
that no obstacles are thrown in their way ; but it is left to your
discretion whether to take any prior steps to ensure this, by
speaking to the King or otherwise. If you decide to address the
King in my name, you will say that the boldness of the English
corsairs has forced me to endeavour to clear the seas of them this
summer, and I have consequently fitted out a fleet for that purpose,
and care will be taken that no damage or injury shall be done to
his subjects. I have thought well to inform him of this, in case
any of my ships should be obliged to enter his ports, in order that
they should be treated in a manner corresponding with the peace
and kindness that exist between us. You will thus banish any
suspicion on his own behalf, and ingratiate him with the object in
view. This will be sufficient ; do not enter into further particulars
at present, if you can avoid it. If afterwards the Armada succeeds
in joining hands with my nephew the duke of Parma, and in
effecting its object in England, you will receive due instructions as
to the line you are to take, and you may then proceed accordingly.
But at present you are not to go beyond what is written above.
(Addition to the draft in the handwriting of the King.) If you
think it undesirable to say what is here set down, you need not do
so. Perhaps if they are told of it beforehand they may be the
better prepared to do us evil offices. But you, being on the spot,
will be the best able to judge of this, and will act as may be most
desirable.—Madrid, 24th April 1588.
277. Advices from London.
A certain Fray José Tejeira has gone thither with a secret packet
for Stafford from Pallavicini. He is going to Paris to print a book,
in reply to one written by one Nuñez against Don Antonio. He
cannot obtain leave to print the book here, and will print it in
Geneva, if they will not allow him to do so in Paris. It will be
easy to have him arrested by authority of his superior, as he has
consorted with heretics and does not carry the French ambassador's
special license as the other friars do.
The only news here is that they are pushing forward their
preparations very actively, but they are in great want of seamen.
They have sent to Holland for 2,000 sailors. Most of the ships
now being fitted cannot be ready for a month, although they say
ten days. There are 10,000 men raised in London, 6,000 of them
have been mustered, and they are excellent fellows, well armed.
It was agreed two days ago that the Admiral should join Drake at
Plymouth, whilst these parts should be defended against the duke
of Parma by 44 ships, 24 of which are from Holland. Of (Drake's)
30 ships they have already struck off six, and of the 20 vessels
(i.e., of the Channel Squadron) they have diminished four, which
they are replacing by four pataches. The ships thus withdrawn,
together with four of the Queen's ships, will remain here, but I
expect the ships deducted will be more than they say, as the same
is being done in all the ports. They are in very great alarm lest
the Spanish fleet should come to the coast of Wales, as the reports
state that it will, and be assisted by the League, of which they are
also much afraid. They are rejoicing now over the news they have
received, and is now general here, that the Catholic King has gone
mad, and has handed the government to his daughter and the
Council. But some persons fear that this is only an invention after
all. Don Antonio has freighted a ship, ostensibly to go to Barbary,
which I do not believe, but think it is intended to keep off this
coast until he can get on board. The captain is a Fleming who
brought him from Portugal, called Cornelius d'Agoamond (sic).
Two hours ago the younger son of the Treasurer arrived. He had
gone with the Commissioners, and reports that they had met on
Thursday last, the 21 st, the Commissioners on the other side. The
meeting had taken place in some tents outside Ostend, where they
were entertained at a banquet. They are pleased at this. It is
well to continue to temporise with them, as it causes preparations to
be kept in suspense here, especially as (the Queen) is so averse to
278. Statement from the Duke of Parma to the King, showing
the Cost of Maintenance for a month of the Army in
Flanders, including infantry, cavalry, mercenaries of all
nations, artillery, navy, stores, &c. ; together with a
Statement of the Strength of the Forces at the last muster
of 29th April 1588 :—
|8,718 men in 89 standards
|5,339 men in 59 standards
|Burgundian, Irish, and Scotch Infantry. (fn. 4)
|3,278 men in 29 standards
|17,825 men in 144 standards
|High German Infantry.
|11,309 men in 50 standards
|Low German Infantry.
|8,616 men in 34 standards
|Light Horse (Italian and Spanish).
|3,650 men in 41 standards
|Antwerp 600 men, Ghent 350 men, Charlemont 230
men = 1,180 men
|Staff, unattached, civilians, &c., 668 men
|Army 59,915 men
|His Highness' salary in 3,000 gold crown
|That of the Maestre de Campo General 1,000 gold
|Commander of the Cavalry 500 gold crowns
|Staff and unattached officers
|Fleet, ordnance, victuals, head-quarters, hospital, &c.
|The monthly expenditure up the present time is 454,311 crowns,
equal to 370,000 gold crowns ; but this does not include extraordinary
expenditure, such as carriers, secret service, spies, travelling expenses,
and many other things that are required to be paid for every day.
It does not include purchases of powder, and other artillery requirements,
or the money which has to be spent when an army is in the
field, nor does it include the ordinary country garrisons.