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was during the hurried march which he made across the isthmus, with the view of effecting this capture, that Drake caught his first sight of the Pacific from a goodly and great high tree,' — a sight which, to use the words of Camden, “ left him no rest in his own mind till he had accomplished his purpose of sailing an English ship in those seas."
After his return to England from this successful expedition, we find Drake acting as a volunteer with three stout frigates, under Essex, in subduing the Irish rebellion. His services on this occasion enabled Sir Christopher Hatton to present him with many recommendations to Queen Elizabeth, who, pleased with the young mariner's appearance and account of himself, promised him her patronage and assistance for the future. Drake now announced his scheme of a voyage into the south seas, through the straits of Magellan, and Elizabeth secretly encouraged his design. It was of importance to conceal the matter from the Spaniards. The squadron, therefore, which Drake collected for his new expedition was ostensibly fitted out for a trading voyage to Alexandria. It consisted of five small vessels, the largest, called the Pelican, being only 500 tons, and the aggregate crew only 164 men. A violent gale forced them back, soon after quitting port, and did considerable damage to the little squadron ; but, on the 13th of December, 1577, they again put to sea, and, on the 20th of May, 1578, the squadron anchored in the Port St Julian of Magellan, in 40° 30' south latitude. Here," says one relation, “we found the gibbet still standing on the main where Magellan did execute justice upon some of his rebellious and discontented company." Whether Drake took the hint thus suggested from his predecessor or not, he embraced the opportunity afforded him during the stay of the fleet at this place to bring one of the partners of his expedition to trial on a charge of conspiracy and mutiny. The accounts which we possess of this transaction are by no means clear or corroborating. We know, in fact, little more of it than Cliffe has expressed in one brief sentence, “Mr Thomas Doughty was brought to his answer,-accused, convicted, and beheaded.” Mr Francis Fletcher, the chaplain of the fleet, states that Drake took the sacrament with Doughty after his condemnation, and that they then dined together “at the same table, as cheerfully in sobriety as ever in their lives they had done; and, taking their leaves, by drinking to each other, as if some short journey only had been in hand.” Early in September, the squadron emerged from the western end of the straits, having spent about fifteen days in their navigation, and, on the 6th of the same month, Drake enjoyed the long prayed for felicity of sailing an English ship on the South sea. On clearing the straits, the fleet held a north-west course, but was immediately driven by a violent gale into 57 south latitude, soon after which the Marigold parted company, and was never heard of more. To complete their disasters, the Golden Hind, in which Drake himself now sailed, while anchored in a bay near the entrance of the straits, broke her cable and drove to sea. The Elizabeth, her companion, commanded by Captain Winter, immediately returned through the straits, and reached England in June, 1578. But the Hind, being beaten round without the strait, touched at Cape Horn, from which place Drake sailed along the coast to Valparaiso, nigh to which latter place he had the good fortune to fall in with and capture a valuable Spanish ship, in which were found 60,000 pesos of gold, and 1770 jars of Chili wine. A richer prize soon after fell into his hands: this was the Cacafuego having on board 26 tons of silver, 13 chests of plate, and 80 lbs. of gold. Drake now began to think of returning home, but, as the attempt to repass the straits would have ex. posed him to the certainty of capture by the despoiled Spaniards, he resolved on seeking a north-west passage homewards, and, with this resolution, steered for Nicaragua. In this attempt, he reached the 48th northern parallel on the western coast of America, but, despairing of success, and the season being now far advanced, he steered westwards from this point for the cape of Good Hope, and, on the 16th of October, made the Philippines. After narrowly escaping shipwreck on the coast of Celebes, in 1° 56' south latitude, they made sail for Java, which they reached on the 12th of March, and, on the 15th of June, they reached the cape of Good Hope, which, to their great surprise, they doubled with comparative ease and safety,—a circumstance from which they concluded " the report of the Portugals most false, " which had represented the doubling of the cape as a thing of exceeding danger and difficulty. On the 25th of September, 1580, Captain Drake came to anchor in the harbour of Plymouth, having completed the circumnavigation of the globe in two years and ten months. The fame of his exploit, and of the immense booty which he had captured, soon rung throughout all England, and, on the 4th of April, 1581, Queen Elizabeth rewarded the intrepid navigator by dining in state on board the Hind, and conferring upon its commander the honour of knighthood. The Spanish court was loud in its complaints against Drake, and solemnly protested against the right of the English to navigate the South sea; but Elizabeth treated its remonstrances with scorn, and a war betwixt the two nations ensued forthwith.
In 1585, Sir Francis sailed, with an armament of twenty-five sai), to the West Indies, and captured the cities of St Jago, St Domingo, and Carthagena. His vice-admiral in this expedition was the celebrated Martin Frobisher. His next exploit was an attack upon the shipping of Cadiz, which was to have made part of the armada. In this service he was completely successful, having burnt upwards of 10,000 tons of shipping in that harbour. A more lucrative, if less splendid, achievement, was the capture of the St Philip, a Portuguese carrack from the West Indies, with an immense treasure on board. In the following year, he was appointed vice-admiral under Howard, high-admiral of England, and acquitted himself most nobly and successfully in the ever-memorable fight with the armada. In 1595, Sir Francis was, for a short time, associated with Sir John Hawkins, in an expedition against the West Indies, the details of which have already been given in our notice of the latter commander. The expedition proved fatal to both its commanders. Within little more than two months after the death of Sir John Hawkins, Admiral Drake expired on board his own ship, off Porto Bello, on the 28th of January, 1596.
Cecil, Lord Burleigh.
BORN A. D. 1520.-DIED A, D. 1598.
William Cecil, Lord Burleigh, secretary of state in the reigns of Edward VI. and Queen Elizabeth, and afterwards lord-high-treasurer of England, was the son of Richard Cecil, Esq. of Burleigh, in the county of Northampton, master of the robes to Henry VIII. His fa mily traced their origin to Robert Sitsilt, who assisted Robert Fitz Hammon in the conquest of Glamorganshire, in 1091. William was born at Bourne in Lincolnshire, on the 13th of September, 1520, and received the first rudiments of education successively at the grammai schools of Grantham and Stamford. In 1535 he was removed to St John's college, Cambridge, where he distinguished himself by close application to his studies. At the early age of sixteen, he delivered a public lecture on the logic of the schools; and before completing his twentieth year, he read prelections on the Greek language.
About the year 1541, he entered of Gray's inn, where he applied himself to the study of the law, and to the cultivation of such habits as were likely to promote his professional eminence. It is recorded of him, that when studying here, he lost all his furniture and books to his companion at the gaming table, but adopted the following device for obtaining restitution of what he could ill afford to spare at the time. He bored a hole in the wall which separated his chambers from those of his associate, and at midnight bellowed through the aperture sundry fearful threats and exhortations to repentance, which so terrified the victorious gambler, that he refunded his winnings, on his knees, next day. “Many other the like merry jests," says his old biographer, “I have heard him tell, too long to be here noted.” An incident, trivial in itself, proved the means of introducing him to the notice of his sovereign. Having gone to visit his father in his apartments at court, he met with two of O'Neil the Irish chieftain's chaplains, in the presence chamber, with whom he got into a warm dispute on various points of faith, and particularly on the pope's supremacy. The argument was conducted in Latin, but the youthful advocate for the reformed religion completely foiled his priestly opponents. This incident having been related to the king, he desired to see young Cecil, and was so pleased with his demeanour and conversation, that he directed his master of the robes to provide his son with a place at court. As no suitable situation happened to be vacant at the time, his father solicited for him the reversion of the Custos Brevium in the court of common pleas, which was readily granted. Shortly after this auspicious introduction at court, Cecil married Mary, the daughter of Sir John Cheke, a gentleman of great respectability and influence, who introduced him
to the notice of the earl of Hertford, maternal uncle to the young prince Edward. His first wife having died in 1543, he now married a daughter of Sir Anthony Cooke, the director of the young king's studies, with whom he received a considerable fortune, which, in addition to the revenue of the office of Custos, to which he had now succeeded, placed him in comparative affluence. In 1547, he was appointed to the office of master of requests by the protector, Somerset; and in the same year, he accompanied his patron into Scotland, and was present at the battle of Pinkey. In 1548, he was promoted to the high office of secretary of state. The fall of his patron—which took place in little more than a year after this—involved Cecil, who was committed to the Tower, where he remained for about the space of three months, when, througb the intercession of the duke of Northumberland, he was not only set at liberty, but restored to his office of secretary, knighted, and sworn of the privy council. Cecil played his part in the complicated politics of the day with great prudence and dexterity. He has been accused of ingratitude towards his former patron, Somerset, and of having promoted the ruin of that unfortunate nobleman ; but the charge is supported only by negative proofs. We have no evidence that he intertered to preserve Somerset; but we have as little that his interference would have been of any service in the case. It was to the honour of the young secretary, that whilst all the other courtiers were involved in the factions and intrigues of the day, he alone kept aloof from cabals, and applied himself with unremitting attention to the duties of his office. In 1553, Sir William undertook the liquidation of the crown debts, and for this eminent service he was made chancellor of the order of the Garter.
Cecil has been charged with having assisted in drawing up the pa. tent by which the young king, feeling himself dying, consented to fix the succession to the throne in the person of the duchess of Suffolk, to the exclusion of Mary and Elizabeth, daughters of Henry VIII., and Mary, queen of Scots, grandaughter of Henry's eldest sister ; but in a memorial which he afterwards drew up touching his conduct in this matter, he declares that he refused to subscribe the patent as a privycouncillor, and had only consented, at the king's earnest entreaty, to subscribe that document as witness to the king's signature. Fuller says, “his hand wrote it as secretary of state, but his heart consented not thereto. Yea, he openly opposed it; though at last, yielding to the greatness of Northumberland, in an age when it was present drowning not to swim with the stream. But,” he adds, “ Cecil had secret coun. ter endeavours against the strain of the court herein, and privately auvanced his rightful intentions against the foresaid duke's ambition." This was undoubtedly the most perilous conjuncture of Cecil's life ; but his sagacity and self-command never deserted him, and finally extricated him from the dangers which beset him. On the king's demise, he resolutely refused to draw up the proclamation, declaring Lady Jane Grey's title to the crown; and soon afterwards he contrived to escape from the city and join Queen Mary, who received him very graciously, and would have retained him in her service in the appointment which he had hitherto held, if he would have consented to renounce the protestant faith, which he declined to do; he went to mass however, and for the better ordering of his spiritual concerns took a priest into his house. During the remainder of Mary's reign, he continued in a private station, only attending his duty in parliament, where he sat as one of the members for the county of Lincoln, and conducted himself with considerable boldness, particularly in the debate which ended in the rejection of the bill for confiscating the estates of such as had quitted the kingdom on the score of religion. Yet so guarded was his language, as a parliamentary leader in opposition to the court, that while some who acted with him were imprisoned by the privy council, he escaped with impunity
Cecil certainly foresaw that the accession of Elizabeth to the throne was an event not far distant, and with consummate skill he managed to pay his court to that princess without exciting the suspicion of her bigotted sister. When that event happened, Cecil was the first personi sworn of Elizabeth's privy-council, and he was at the same time created secretary of state. One of the first measures which he recommended to the attention of the queen, was to meet the spirit of the times by a thorough reformation of the church. He urged upon her consideration the facts, that the nation had expressed itself decidedly in favour of such a step,—that the protestant party confidently looked to her for it,that she had nothing to hope but much to fear from the catholic party,and that it became her to vindicate that supremacy in matters ecclesiastical as well as civil which her royal father had so boldly claimed and so highly valued. By such representations he wrung a reluctant consent from Elizabeth to the measures which he proposed; her prejudices, however, frequently resisted her minister's discernment, and it was with the utmost difficulty that Cecil maintained his ground against Parker, Whitgift, and other intolerant prelates. His next care was to remedy the abuses in the coinage which had been greatly debased during the preceding reigns, and the measures which he adopted for this purpose proved so effectual that the money of England soon became the heaviest and finest in Europe. All his financial suggestions were not equally praiseworthy. The plan which he proposed to Elizabeth for augmenting her revenue without having recourse to parliament, is especially to be deprecated. His scheme was to erect a court for the correction of all abuses throughout the kingdom; its officers were to be invested with a kind of inquisitorial authority, and to punish defaulters by fines proportionate to their offences, which were all to be paid into the royal exchequer. Such a measure, if gone into, would have been to revive the practices of Empson and Dudley, and raise a storm of popular opposition which might have hurled even the stern and wary Elizabeth from the throne of England. Cecil was also the author of a scheme for raising a general loan equivalent in amount to a subsidy. A better feature in Cecil's character as a financier was liis strict economy. Elizabeth, fortunately for herself and the nation, went along with him in this, and the consequence was that the government during her reign was conducted at less ex. pense, in proportion to the transactions, domestic and foreign, in which it was engaged, than that of any other British sovereign. She also paid the debts with which her father and sister had encumbered the crown, amounting it is supposed to above £4,000,000; and at her death, left the states of Holland her debtors to the amount of £800,000, and France £450,000. Elizabeth, however, had her favourites on whom she occasionally lavished her treasures with a most prodigal hand, such especially was Essex, who, at different times, had received from the queen pecuniary gifts to the extent of £700,000. Then there were the usual host of needy and supplicating courtiers who beset both the queen and her minister on all occasions with their importunities. All this last tribe were treated by Cecil with the contempt they merited,
"Nanton's Regalia, chap. i.