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The Return of the ArmadasThe Last Years of the Elizabethan War against Spain 1595-1603$
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R. B. Wernham

Print publication date: 1994

Print ISBN-13: 9780198204435

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198204435.001.0001

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Drake and Hawkins's Last Voyage, 1595–1596

Drake and Hawkins's Last Voyage, 1595–1596

(p.45) III Drake and Hawkins's Last Voyage, 1595–1596
The Return of the Armadas

R. B. Wernham

Oxford University Press

The long gestated expedition of Sir Francis Drake and Sir John Hawkins got away to a very stuttering start. The reasons for the delay are unclear. Possibly there had been difficulties over getting the contributions of private backers. The decision to promise shipowners shares in the hoped-for booty in place of tonnage money and the same to soldiers in place of wages seems to point in that direction. But the effect of the delay was disastrous. Spain sent four galleys to raid Penzance and the neighbouring villages, heightening Elizabeth I's perennial anxiety over the danger of Spanish invasion. But what most stirred her concern and the concern of her advisers was the crop of reports beginning to come in at just this time of great preparations in Spanish ports, preparations said to be greater than those of 1588 and aimed against Ireland that year and England for the following year. Accordingly, Drake and Hawkins were immediately ordered to sail towards the Irish coast and prevent any attempted landings there.

Keywords:   Francis Drake, John Hawkins, expedition, England, Spain, Elizabeth I, Penzance, Ireland

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