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English Seamen in the Sixteenth Century Lectures Delivered at Oxford Easter Terms 1893-4   By: (1818-1894)

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First Page:

ENGLISH SEAMEN

IN

THE SIXTEENTH CENTURY

LECTURES DELIVERED AT OXFORD EASTER TERMS 1893 4

BY

JAMES ANTHONY FROUDE

LATE REGIUS PROFESSOR OF MODERN HISTORY IN THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD

New Edition LONDON LONGMANS, GREEN, AND CO. 1896 [ All rights reserved ] RICHARD CLAY & SONS, LIMITED, LONDON & BUNGAY.

CONTENTS

LECTURE PAGE

I. THE SEA CRADLE OF THE REFORMATION 1

II. JOHN HAWKINS AND THE AFRICAN SLAVE TRADE 35

III. SIR JOHN HAWKINS AND PHILIP THE SECOND 68

IV. DRAKE'S VOYAGE ROUND THE WORLD 102

V. PARTIES IN THE STATE 141

VI. THE GREAT EXPEDITION TO THE WEST INDIES 176

VII. ATTACK ON CADIZ 207

VIII. SAILING OF THE ARMADA 238

IX. DEFEAT OF THE ARMADA 272

LECTURE I

THE SEA CRADLE OF THE REFORMATION

Jean Paul, the German poet, said that God had given to France the empire of the land, to England the empire of the sea, and to his own country the empire of the air. The world has changed since Jean Paul's days. The wings of France have been clipped; the German Empire has become a solid thing; but England still holds her watery dominion; Britannia does still rule the waves, and in this proud position she has spread the English race over the globe; she has created the great American nation; she is peopling new Englands at the Antipodes; she has made her Queen Empress of India; and is in fact the very considerable phenomenon in the social and political world which all acknowledge her to be. And all this she has achieved in the course of three centuries, entirely in consequence of her predominance as an ocean power. Take away her merchant fleets; take away the navy that guards them: her empire will come to an end; her colonies will fall off, like leaves from a withered tree; and Britain will become once more an insignificant island in the North Sea, for the future students in Australian and New Zealand universities to discuss the fate of in their debating societies.

How the English navy came to hold so extraordinary a position is worth reflecting on. Much has been written about it, but little, as it seems to me, which touches the heart of the matter. We are shown the power of our country growing and expanding. But how it grew, why, after a sleep of so many hundred years, the genius of our Scandinavian forefathers suddenly sprang again into life of this we are left without explanation.

The beginning was undoubtedly the defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588. Down to that time the sea sovereignty belonged to the Spaniards, and had been fairly won by them. The conquest of Granada had stimulated and elevated the Spanish character. The subjects of Ferdinand and Isabella, of Charles V. and Philip II., were extraordinary men, and accomplished extraordinary things. They stretched the limits of the known world; they conquered Mexico and Peru; they planted their colonies over the South American continent; they took possession of the great West Indian islands, and with so firm a grasp that Cuba at least will never lose the mark of the hand which seized it. They built their cities as if for eternity. They spread to the Indian Ocean, and gave their monarch's name to the Philippines . All this they accomplished in half a century, and, as it were, they did it with a single hand; with the other they were fighting Moors and Turks and protecting the coast of the Mediterranean from the corsairs of Tunis and Constantinople.

They had risen on the crest of the wave, and with their proud Non sufficit orbis were looking for new worlds to conquer, at a time when the bark of the English water dogs had scarcely been heard beyond their own fishing grounds, and the largest merchant vessel sailing from the port of London was scarce bigger than a modern coasting collier... Continue reading book >>




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