Monro His Expedition - The thirteenth Duty discharged upon our expedition by water to Kiel, and of our service there.

The thirteenth Duty discharged upon our expedition by water to Kiel, and of our service there.

Having retired all unto our ships, his Majesty made sail again alongst the coast of Holstein, till we entered before night, betwixt two lands that go up unto Kiel, where by six o'clock at night we set sail, within musket-shot of the town: the commander over the garrison doth keep himself and his people very wisely silent and close, making his Majesty suspect there was no soldiers in the town, providing for the worst, he expected his advantage at our landing: the whole night he was busied, and very provident, in working a running trench alongst the coast, near the height of a man under ground, over against our ships, within the palisades, unseen or known of us, where in the dead of the night he lodged, and placed a thousand musketeers, giving them charge, never to shoot, nor appear, till first our soldiers were almost landed: his Majesty not expecting the like, by seven of the clock in the morning, turns the broad sides of five great ships and two galleys on the town, and shoots at once, for the space of an hour, so fast as they could charge, seventy half cartows at every salvo, through and through the town houses, where many were lamed of legs and arms, and freed of lives. Nevertheless, the soldiers within the town never gave one shot of musket during that time, but the sling-pieces from the town were spreading their bullets thick amongst our fleet, which for the most part, shot over, doing us no great hurt: in the end, our cannon leaving shooting, his Majesty sent orders to set a party of two hundred musketeers a-shore, we that were officers met together in the admiral's ship, and agreed to command out the party, and having cast lots, it fell on the Dutch: they suspecting the danger, delayed, desiring the rest to command out alike, which we refused; seeing the lot had fallen upon them, except his Majesty would give a second command for it: thus contesting, we go together towards his Majesty, to know his Majesty's further resolution, and we show his Majesty of the Dutch's delay, on whom the lot had fallen; his Majesty considering better resolved, the party should be commanded proportionally of all nations alike, and to cast lots who should send a Captain to command them, the lot falling upon the English, they command a lieutenant that supplied the place of his captain in his absence, the party made ready, were sent from his Majesty's ship ashore, being twelve musketeers in every boat, with their muskets in readiness; the enemy perceiving them coming, gives a salvo of a thousand shot amongst them, twice before their landing, so that the half of them were killed: yet the Lieutenant valourously led on the rest, and begins the fight ashore, and continues the skirmish hot on both sides for one half hour, till the most part of our party were killed, their powder spent, and perceiving no relief was to come, his Majesty having considered the danger, the relief, though in readiness, was stayed. The lieutenant being the last man, retired with credit, being thrice shot, did come off, and died the next night. A sergeant of Captain Mac-Kenyee his company, called Mac-Clawde, an old expert soldier, and a diligent, son to Neale Mac-Clawde, was killed, and twenty-two soldiers of the thirty that I commanded out of our regiment, the rest being wounded, for fault of boats, came swimming in their clothes to his Majesty's ship, and were taken in.

The party thus lost, the enemy begun to thunder amongst our fleet, with two half cartows and six sling-pieces, where leaving our anchors, he was thought the best master that had his ship first under sail: his Majesty's ship being the last, was twice shot through, and two constables were shot in two in the waist. Thus forced to retire with great loss, we hold on our course towards the Isle of Fehmarn again.

The thirteenth Observation.

In time of this hot service, no man could perceive any alteration in the majesty of this King his royal face, but rather seemed notwithstanding of his loss, as it were, triumphing over his enemies, and comforting others, most graciously said. We ought not to be astonished, when things happen unto us beyond our expectation: and that which was more esteemed as a God amongst the pagans, was extraordinarily changeable, sometimes taking part with one, and sometimes with another. In a word, this magnanimous King did abate nothing of his former courage, or of his gravity: So that his very enemies, if they had seen him at so near a distance as I did, they could not but have humbly reverenced his Majesty for his magnific stature, higher than any ordinary man by the head: yet ashamed he was, to stoop for a cannon bullet, when they flew thickest.

And for the accomplishment of his virtues, nature hath given him an extraordinary rich presence, to wit, a face as manly as possible may be seen, worthy of a great King, well mixed in complexion, his eyes flaming and shining, full of courage, his beard brown, his nose aquiline, or imperial, his voice manly, winning the hearts of those that see or hear him; in effect, a royal King, full of assurance, without any fear at all, in respect of man: yet full of majesty, amiable to his friends, and terrible to his enemies.

Here then we may see, that it is the LORD that guards and keeps kings and princes from imminent dangers that environ them, whereof histories both ancient and modern, are full of examples of the miraculous deliverance of great personages from dangers.

One notable story I will bring to confirm this divine protection, in saving Titus son to Vespasian, appointed for the ruining of Jerusalem, to subdue and punish the Jews. Flavius Joseph in his sixth book and second chapter of the Wars of the Jews, records of him, that before the siege was laid to the town, of mind to recognize, he fell unawares amongst an ambuscade of his enemies, where then it was known, as much as ever, that it is the LORD who disposeth of the moments of war, and of the life of kings: for though Titus had no head-piece nor corslet on his back (having not gone to fight, but to recognosce) of an infinite number of shot, shot at him, none touched him, though many were shot behind him, those darts shot aside at him, he rebated them with his sword, and those shot low, he made his horse skip to eschew them. The Jews perceiving his resolution, made great noise, exhorting one another to run at him, and to follow him wherever he went. A rare example of a rare deliverance, where we see that he is well guarded, whom the Lord keeps. Here also we may see, what difference there is betwixt commanders, he in Fehmarn showed himself no soldier; neither yet the captain in Ekernförde: but this brave fellow that commanded in Kiel, preserved himself and others, and that with credit; where we see, that where wisdom and valour do meet, oft-times the success is answerable; and a man's discretion is seen when he abides a fit occasion, as this brave fellow did: where I find always, that those are the best commanders, that are resolute and remiss, not hunting before he sees his prey, and then with advantage, if he would catch.

Here also, experience dear bought did teach us, that it is better in commanding men on exploits, to command them proportionally out of divers regiments, than to command them all out of one, which were to undo a regiment: and we see often, that the examples of the noble carriage of officers, do much animate and encourage their followers to well-doing; and it is a comely thing for the servant of the public, to teach by example, which makes his fame live after death, as this worthy English cavalier did, especially being in the public view of the King his master, his comrades, and his enemies, carrying their characters from service, as the marks of his valour, without fainting, though wounded to death.

Here also our Scottish Highlandmen are praise-worthy, who for lack of boats, made use of their virtue and courage in swimming the seas, notwithstanding of their wounds, with their clothes, showing their masters, they were not the first came off, but with the last; following the example of their leader, they would not stay to be prisoners, as many do at such times, and never return.

I did also observe after this day's service, an alteration in the common soldiers' behaviour, while as before we were to send out a party of commanded men, we were troubled with the soldiers, striving who should go out on the party, every one desiring it should be he, but after this days smart once felt by their comrades, they learned to be more wise, and to stay till they were commanded, and then they obeyed, though not so freely as before.

Here also I will entreat thee, judicious reader, to give me leave to digress somewhat, to discourse a little of sea-fights, which occurred in the discharge of the last duty, though not properly belonging to my scope. Yet in this retreat-making, as we were in danger of killing, so were we in danger of drowning, by the enemies' cannon piercing our ships, repaying us for the hurt done by our ships and cannon to their town and soldiers, having in one hour discharged amongst them an infinite number of shot.

To give then notice to the reader of his Majesty's power by sea, I will relate a story of a sea-fight, that happened betwixt the Swedens and the Danes, which was in the year 1564, the thirtieth of May: the story is written by Gasperence in his Commentaries of the Swedens wars, as followeth.

Amongst other ships, saith he, there was one which in greatness and excellent equipage, went beyond all human apprehension, so that many affirmed, that since the memory of man, the like of her was not seen on the North Ocean, which by the Swedens, in their language, was called Makeless, that is to say, Matchless, carrying two hundred pieces of ordnance. The Swedes' admiral, trusting much in this ship, did employ his whole force against the principal Dane ship, called the Fortune, furiously cannonading her, till he had shot her fourteen times under water, and above one hundred times above water, on her masts and shrouds: the conflict of the first day being doubtful, both the armies being much endangered, the next day the Danes being sure of one side, next the land, and on the other side, having the Swedens fleet, that pressed to make them ground, but the wind turned so, that the Danes having the wind at best, they chased the Swedens fleet, scattering them so, that the Matchless being almost overthrown by the strength of the Danes' fleet, was driven on a bank of sand, where she was burnt by the Danes with wild fire, which the Danes launched within her, the admiral of the Swedens, called Jacques Bagg, and Arrold Troll, counsellor of the kingdom, and a lord called Christopher Ander, were taken prisoners. The Swedens finding their best strength lost fly, being followed of the Danes, whose ships being shrewdly battered by the cannon of the Swedens, that it was impossible to sail, or keep the sea longer, but were forced to harbour till they were helped. Where we see, by the ruin of this great hulk, that God is not pleased when men make such cities of timber; but on the contrary, ruins them, not suffering any to grow proud of their might.

Paul Jove in his seventy book records a story of a sea-fight, that happened betwixt the French and the English: Two English ships having pursued one French ship, of an extraordinary greatness, called the Cordeliere, having fought long with cannon, with fire staves, and with artificial fire pots, in one instant were miserably consumed by fire, having lost above two thousand men, burnt, killed and drowned, and lost in ground thought incredible, near two hundred piece of cannon, as reports Hubbert Waleus, who amply hath written this story; and of the loss of those ships, he writes in his addition to the History of Gagwine.

Athene makes mention of some worthy observation, in his fifth book, and fifth Chapter. Ptolemy Philadelph King of Egypt had a great number of ships, amongst which were two, each one having thirty ranks of seats, called trignitriremes, so that they were marvelous great, and Ptolomy Philopater caused to build a ship, of two hundred and eighty cubits in length, and of forty eight cubits in height from the keel to the poop, with four hundred mariners, and four thousand rowers: and that ship of Hieron Prince of Syracuse, built by the skill of Archimedes, was yet greater then this other, according to the report of Athene, who reports things seeming incredible being a worthy author, which according to his account did carry two thousand tons, being a prodigious monster, so that there could not be found a sure harbour for that city built of timber, so that Hieron did send a present of all the wheat and provision within her to the King of Egypt, for the relief of his country. Plinius writes of another ship in Claudius Caesar his time, that carried six score thousand bushels of corn, whereof the mast was so great that four men could not fathom it, where we may see, how these Princes of old delighted in making of things out of measure.

More of this we may read in our own story, of the ships built by King James the fourth King of Scotland, whereof one was such a huge great ship as ever was seen on our seas: she was so great, that Henry the eighth and Francis the first, kings of England and France through jealousy caused to build every one of them a greater ship then the Scottish ship, which being made ready, and put to sea, were improfitable for navigation, and this Scottish ship also was improfitable, being lost by Admiral Hamilton on an exploit at Bristol. Where she being robbed of her equipage, she rotted on that coast by succession of time.

At Venice this day we hear of a fair ship, but not in comparison of these for quantity, of which Instinian writes as follows, above water she is garnished with columns, many in number, gilded with fine gold. When any prince or great man comes to Venice, the Duke & senators to do him honour, lead him unto this ship, where before the mast on the highest stage or degree, is set the Duke's chair, where the prince is set amongst the ambassadors, and the lords of the privy council, and all men about, on banks set lower, all the senators with great silence and gravity, sitting on those banks under them, are those that lead the ship, even by force against the stream, though the wind be contrary.

The territories of the Duchy are seen, with the Duke's buckler, clad and covered with black, the ship is covered with tapestry of velvet or scarlet, well bound that the wind may not discover those under it; at the rudder there is to be seen, the portrait of justice in clean gold, having in the right hand a naked sword, and in the left a balance: she is called Bucentaure, bu signifying great, and centaure, as the most ancient mark of ships built in the time of Sebastian Siano Duke of Venice; at the coming of the Emperor Frederick Barbarossa, for treating of the peace betwixt the Pope and the Venetians.

Osorius writes of the mighty ship of Dian, which alone fought against the whole fleet of King Manuel, and at last was taken: and in another place of the same story, he speaks of a great ship, called Reffe, that fought valiantly against the Portugals, and they being entered into her, there was made on the sudden an artificial fire, that so affrighted the pursuers, that they quit the Reffe, retiring the farthest they could from her, which fire did not burn, being artificially made, and the makers of it could extinguish it when they pleased.

To conclude then this observation and discourse of ships; I did observe here before Kiel, fire being entered into one of our ships, and the soldiers throwing salt water on it, it still burnt the more, till I made them throw fresh water, and then it was quenched, having before read the like in Plutarch treating of the natural causes. And Venice seated on the sea hath been often in danger of burning, as Sabellicus writes in his sixth book in the story of Venice, where he reports that the Temple [of] St Mark was almost all burnt, and the Duke's palace was preserved with great difficulty; which verifies, that fire and water are good servants but evil masters. God make us thankful for this deliverance, and from many more since, having been in danger of fire, water, sword, famine, pestilence, and from the cruelty of our enemies.

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