In the end Drake got away quietly enough, on the 15th of November, 1577. The court and country were in great excitement over the conspiracy between the Spaniards and Mary Queen of Scots, now a prisoner of nine years' standing.
"The famous voyage of sir francis drake into the South Sea, and therehence about the whole Globe of the Earth, begun in the year of our Lord 1577" well deserves its great renown. Drake's flotilla seems absurdly small. But, for its own time, it was far from insignificant; and it was exceedingly well found. The Pelican, afterwards called the Golden Hind, though his flagship, was of only a hundred tons. The Elizabeth, the Swan, the Marigold, and the Benedict were of eighty, fifty, thirty, and fifteen. There were altogether less than three hundred tons and two hundred men. The crews numbered a hundred and fifty. The rest were gentlemen-adventurers, special artificers, two trained surveyors, musicians, boys, and Drake's own page, Jack Drake. There was 'great store of wild-fire, chain-shot, harquebusses, pistols, corslets, bows and other like weapons in great abundance. Neither had he omitted to make provision for ornament and delight, carrying with him expert musicians, rich furniture (all the vessels for his table, yea, many belonging even to the cook-room, being of pure silver), and divers shows of all sorts of curious workmanship whereby the civility and magnificence of his native country might amongst all nations withersoever he should come, be the more admired.'1
1 The little handbook issued by Pette and Jackman in 1580, for those whom we should now call commercial travellers, is full of Hips' about ' Thinges to be carried with you, whereof more or lesse is to be carried for a shewe of our commodities to bee made.' For instance:—'Kersies of all orient coulours, specially of stamel [fine worsted], brode cloth of orient coulours also. Taffeta hats. Deepe cappes for mariners. Quilted Cappes of Levant Taffeta of divers coulours, for the night. Garters of Silke. Girdels of Buffe and all leathers, with gilt and ungilt Buckles, specially wast girdels. Wast girdels of velvet. Gloves of all sortes, knit and of leather. Gloves perfumed. Shooes of Spanish leather, of divers colours. Looking glasses for Women, great and fayre. Comes of Ivorie. Handkerchewes, with silk of divers colours, wrought. Glasen eyes to ride with against dust [so motor goggles are not so new, after all!]. Boxes with weightes of golde, and every kind of coyne of golde, to shewe that the people here use weight and measure, which is a cer-tayne showe of wisedome, and of a certayne government settled here.'
There are also elaborate directions about what to take 'For banketing on shipborde of persons of credite' [and prospective customers]. 'First, the sweetest perfumes to set under hatches to make the place smell sweete against their coming aborde. Marmelade. Sucket [candies]. Figges barrelled. Raisins of the Sun. Comfets that shall not dissolve. Prunes damaske. Dried peres. Walnuttes. Almondes. Olives, to make them taste their wine. The Apple John that dureth two yeares, to make showe of our fruites. Hul-locke [a sweet wine], Sacke. Vials of good sweet waters, and casting-bottels of glass, to besprinckel the gests withal, after their coming aborde. The sweeet oyle of Zante and excellent French vinegar and a fine kind of Bisket steeped in the same do make a banketting dishe, Sou'sou'west went Drake's flotilla and made its landfall 'towards the Pole Antartick' off the 'Land of Devils' in 31° 40' south, northeast of Montevideo. Frightful storms had buffeted the little ships about for weary weeks together, and all hands thought they were the victims of some magician on board, perhaps the 'Italianate' Doughty, or else of native witchcraft from the shore. The experienced old pilot, who was a Portuguese, explained that the natives had sold themselves to Devils, who were kinder masters than the Spaniards, and that 'now when they see ships they cast sand into the air, whereof ariseth a most gross thick fogg and palpable and a little Sugar cast in it cooleth and comforteth, and refresheth the spirittes of man. Synomomme Water and Imperiall Water is to be had with you to comfort your sicke in the voyage.'
No feature is neglected. 'Take with you the large mappe of London and let the river be drawn full of shippes to make the more showe of your great trade. The booke of the Attyre of All Nations carried with you and bestowed in gift would be much esteemed. Tinder boxes, with steel, flint, and matches. A painted Bellowes, for perhaps they have not the use of them. All manner of edge tools. Note specially what dyeing they use.' After many more items the authors end up with two bits of good advice. 'Take with you those things that bee in the Perfection of Goodnesse to make your commodities in credit in time to come.' 'Learn what the Country hath before you offer your commodities for sale; for if you bring thither what you yourself desire to lade yourself home with, you must not sell yours deare lest hereafter you purchase theirs not so cheape as you would.' darkness, and withal horrible, fearful, and intolerable winds, rains, and storms.'
But witchcraft was not Thomas Doughty's real offence. Even before leaving England, and after betraying Elizabeth and Drake to Burleigh, who wished to curry favor with the Spanish traders rather than provoke the Spanish power, Doughty was busy tampering with the men. A storekeeper had to be sent back for peculation designed to curtail Drake's range of action. Then Doughty tempted officers and men: talked up the terrors of Magellan's Strait, ran down his friend's authority, and finally tried to encourage downright desertion by underhand means. This was too much for Drake. Doughty was arrested, tied to the mast, and threatened with dire punishment if he did not mend his ways. But he would not mend his ways. He had a brother on board and a friend, a 'very craftie lawyer'; so stern measures were soon required. Drake held a sort of court-martial which condemned Doughty to death. Then Doughty, having played his last card and lost, determined to die 'like an officer and gentleman.'