Imágenes de páginas

he resolved to pass through that town, and offer him combat ; and accordingly at the town's end met Barry with his forces, whom he charged with prodigious bravery, and put to fight ; as he pursued his journey, he overtook another company of the enemy in a plain by a wood fide, whom be likewise attacked, though he had only fix horsemen with bim, expečting probably that his company would foon join him. But the rebels, who had greatly the advantage of numbers, being cut off from the wood, and having no other relief, faced about, and fought very desperately, killing five of the horses belonging to Raleigh's company, and amongst these his own ; and he was in extreme danger himself of being overpowered by numbers, if his servant Nicholas Wright had not interposed; who perceiving his master's horse mortally wounded with darts, encountered fix of the enemy at once, and killed one of them ; while Patric Fagaw refcued Raleigh, after it had been unsuccessfully attempted by James Fitz Richard, who was then ready to perish; which Raleigh seeing, would not now fuffer Wright to fight by him any longer; but ordered him to affist Fitz. Richard, which he immediately did, by rusħiug into the throng of the enemy, and dispatching him who pressed upon Fitz-Richard, rescuing the latter from the most imminent danger. In this sharp fkirmish many of the reblels perithed, and two were carried prisoners to Cork, where Raleigh performed several other services, till the rebels


C 5

being reduced, he returned to England, where his eminent accomplishments foon introduced him to the notice of the court, and her majesty's favour. In February 1581-2, he was one of thofe persons of distinction, who by the queen's command accompanied the duke of Anjou to the Netherlands; and in 1582, on his return, brought letters from the prince of Orange to her majesty. In 1583, he engaged in a second expedition with his brother Sir Humphry Gilbert, to Newfoundland ; but having been two or three days at sea, a contagious diftemper seized his whole crew, and he was obliged to return to port; however, by this accident, he escaped the misfortunes of that expedition, in which Sir Humphry, after having taken poffeflion of Newfound. land in the right of the crown of England, in bis return home, unfortunately perished: but ill success could not divert Raleigh from a scheme, which he thought was of such importance to his country; he therefore drew up an account of its advantages, and laid it be. fore the queen and council, who were so well fatisfied with it, that her majesty granted him letters patent in favour of his project ; taining free liberty to discover such remote beathenish and barbarous lands, as were not actually poffefied by any Christian, or inhabited by Christian people.'

Immediately upon this grant, captain Raleigh fitted out two vessels, which reached the gulf of Florida the second of July : they



failed along the more about one hundred and twenty miles, and at lait debarked, on a low land, which proved to be an island called Wokoken. After taking a formal poífeffion of this country in the name of the queen, he carried on a friendly correspondence with the natives, who supplied them with provisions, and gave them furs and deer skias in exchange for trifles; thus encouraged, eight of their crew. went twenty miles up the river Occam, and next day came to an island called Roanok, the residence of the Indian chief, whose house was built of cedar, and fortiñed round with sharp pieces of timber. His wife came out to them, and ordered her people to carry

them from the boat on their backs, and thewed them many civilities to exprels her friendly intentions towards them, in the ab. sence of her husband. After having gained the best information they could of the strength of the Indian nations, and of their connections, alliances, and contests with each other, they returned to England, and made such an advantageous report of the fertility of the soil, and healthfulness of the climate, that the queen favoured the design of fettling a colony in that country, to which she gave the name of Virginia.

About two months after captain Raleigh's return, he was chosen knight of the shire for his own county of Devon, and the same sefa fion received the honour of knighthood, a distinction the more honourable to him, as the queen was extremely cautious and frugat in bestowing of honours; the at the same time granted him a patent to licence the vending of wines throughout the kingdom ; which was, in all probability, a very lucrative one.

Sir Walter was so intent upon planting his new colony in Virginia, that, in 1585, he fent out a fleet of feven fail, under the command of his cousin, Sir Richard Grenvile, general of the expedition, who came to an anchor at Wokoken, from whence they fent. their compliments to king Wingina, at Roanok ; after which the general, and a felect: company, visited many Indian towns, at one of which the Indians having stolen a silver cup, the English burnt the town, and de. stroyed the corn fields. An act which they had afterwards sufficient reason to repent. The general at last returning to his fleet, thought fit to weigh anchor, and set sail for England ;; when he took in his passage a: Spanish prize worth fifty thousand pounds, with which they arrived at Plymouth; having left behind, in: Virginia, one hundred and feven persons.

The Spanish prize above mentioned was not: the only cireumstance of good fortune which happened to Sir. Walter this year ; the rebellion in Ireland being now totally suppressed, her majesty granted him twelve thousand acres: of the forfeited lands; and this great effate he planted at his own expence.

Sir Walter, encouraged by this noble grant, fitted out a third fleet.for Virginia; where the:


colony, having fuffered great diftreffes, had procured a passage into England from Sir Francis Drake, who had visited it in his return from his conquest of St. Domingo, Carthagena, and St. Augustine. Raleigh had; in: the spring of that year, sent a ship of one hundred tons for the succour of that colony; but not arriving before the people had left that country, the returned with all her lading to England.

About fifteen days after, Sir Richard Grens ville arrived at Virginia with three ships more, well stored, for the company of planters which he had left there in 1585; but, finding neither them, nor the last-mentioned ship, Sir Richard, unwilling to lofe the possession of fo. fine a country, landed fifteen men on the fland of Roanok, leaving them provision for two years, set sail for England; and, in his return, took some Spanish prizes.

The latter end of the year 1586, her ma. jefty made Sir Walter Raleigh fenefchall of the duties of Cornwall and Exeter, and lord-warden of the stannaries in Devonshire and Corn.. wall; but these preferments exposed him to the envy of those who were much his inferiors. in merit; and even the earl of Leicester, who had once been his friend, grew jealous ef him, and fet up, in opposition to him, his nephew, the young earl of Essex ; but neither the factions of the court, nor the aspersions of : the people, whom Raleigh could never conde


« AnteriorContinuar »