History of the United Netherlands, 1595-96

History of the United Netherlands, 1595-96

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Excerpt: ...John Wingfield, who insisted in prancing about on horseback without his armour, defying the townspeople and neglecting the urgent appeal of Sir Francis Vere, was also slain. The Spanish soldiers, discouraged by the defeat of the ships on which they had relied for protection of the town, retreated with a great portion of the inhabitants into the citadel. Next morning the citadel capitulated without striking a blow, although there, were six thousand able-bodied, well-armed men within its walls. It was one of the most astonishing panics ever recorded. The great fleet, making a third of the king's navy, the city of Cadiz and its fortress, were surrendered to this audacious little force, which had only arrived off the harbour thirty-six hours before. The invaders had, however, committed a great mistake. They had routed, and, as it were, captured the Spanish galleons, but they had not taken possession of them, such had been their eagerness to enter the city. It was now agreed that the fleet should be ransomed for two million ducats, but the proud Duke of Medina Sidonia, who had already witnessed the destruction of one mighty armada, preferred that these splendid ships too should perish rather than that they should pay tribute to the enemy. Scorning the capitulation of the commandant of the citadel, he ordered the fleet to be set on fire. Thirty-two ships, most of them vessels of war of the highest class, were burned, with all their equipments. Twelve hundred cannon sunk at once to the bottom of the Bay of Cadiz, besides arms for five or six thousand men. At least one-third of Philip's effective navy was thus destroyed. The victors now sacked the city very thoroughly, but the results were disappointing. A large portion of the portable wealth of the inhabitants, their gold and their jewelry, had been so cunningly concealed that, although half a dozen persons were tortured till they should reveal hidden treasures, not more than five hundred thousand ducats...show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 26 pages
  • 189 x 246 x 1mm | 68g
  • Rarebooksclub.com
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1236710967
  • 9781236710963