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The Revenges Sea Fight

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In the newly published work, "The Royal Navy," the following account is given of the fight of the Revtnge, whieh suggested to Tennyson one of his most stirrlng baliads: In 1591, off Flores, in the Azores, Lord Tomas Howard was lying in wait Wlflï his squadron to capture the treasure ships of Spain: "He narrowly escaped being suïjrlsed there by Don Alonzo de Bazan, who had been sent out with a fleet of flfty-three BWpa to mft aad conroy home the exjwofced carracks. The Efl.rl of Cumberland, as has bsen mentioned above, had happened to learn of the fitting out of thle fleet at Corunna, and had, with rr.uoh foresight, ordercd Mr. Middleton, master of the Moonsh-iue pinnace, to discover lts force aud object, and then, if neceasary, to proceed with all speed and warn Lord Thomas. Middleton kept the Spaniards in sight there was no longer any doubt of their intentlona, and thereupon set all sail for Flores, arriving very little ahead of the enemy. This was on August 31. "Howard at once weighed. His second in command, Sir Richard Greynville, of the Revenge, had a number of men ashore, and, according to some accounts waited for them. Camden anü others have it that he refused to turn his back upon the enemy, and so allowed himself to be hemmed in between the Spaniards and the island Some also suppose that he mistook the squadron of Don Alonzo for the expeoted treasure ships; and, therefore, disobeyed the orders of his commander-inchief. But be this as it may, he wa presently surrounded and attacked by practlcally the whole of the best part oí the Spanish fleet. Howard, with the remaining six men-of-war, seems to have been engaged for a considerable time with the enemy, but not In such a posltion as to afford any support to Greynville. The Foresight made a serious effort to asslst the Revenge but, owing to the wind could not ge very near her. "The Revenge fought against these overwb,elming odds for fifteen hours; and Greynville, no matter whether he was, as has often been asserted, or was not, blameworthy as being rash, etubbom and disobedient, immortalized himself by a defense such as has never either before or since, been witnessed ■ upon the sea. "At one time his shlp was simultaneously laid aboard by flve large vessels, including the San Felippe, of 1,500 tons and seventy-eight guns. At no time had she less than two vessels alongside, and in hot and close action. As one Spaniard withdrew disabled, another, with fresh men, cool guns and new Euppliea of ammunition, took her place. Fifteen ships engaged her. Of these Bhe sank at least two, lnciuding the Ascuncion. Early in the fight one of the victuallers. the George Noble of ïxinQon, at great perli to nerseir arew near and, talllng under the lee of the levenge, aaked Sir Richard if he had any commands. Greynville bid her shift for herself and leave him to hls ortune. "The fight had begun at about 3 o'clock in the afternoon. Soon after■ward Greynville had been wouüded, but ie refused, until 11 p. m., to quit the deck, and then, receivlng a wound in ;he body from a musket bullet, went unwilling below to get lt droesed. The Burgeoo who attended hlm was Uilled at hls Bide, and for t. third time, Greynville was wounded, on thla cccaslon in ;he head. "In the small hours the situation of the devoted ship was deplorable. All her best men lay küled or wounded ; she was perfectly unmanageable, and her last barrel of powder had been expended. Greynville, seeing the futility of further flghtüng, ordered the Revenge to be stink; but tp this the survivlng officers would not agree, and terms were at lenth made with the Spaniards upon the uuderstanding that the lives and liberties of the gallant ship's company should be spared. "When the Revenge surrendered, she had six feet of water ín her hold, not a mast standing and but about slxty men, nearly all of whom were wounded, allve, out of a crew Ih&t which, at the outaet, may have numbered 250, If all were on board. Bat sickness had been rife In the fieet, and no matter what may have been the irumber of men vlotualled In the Reeage on the day of the action, only febout a btm-ired of them went into the fight fit for daty. "Greynville, wlth every mark of admlratlon and respect, was carrled on board the Spanlsh admlral. Two days later he dled. His shSp, overtaken five days after the battla by a storm, foundered off 9t. Michael's with 200 Spanlards in her, and in the same storm there perlshed flfteen or sixteen Spanish men-of-war."


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