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When the world was settling acter of its

We down to peace at the close of must not be misled into the wars of Queen Anne, & thinking that because a

the French diplomatist suggested name "galeon” was born of that Harley should ask the “galera,” the two types had Cortes of Castile to guarantee their origin in the same seas, the due performance of certain or were not essentially differSpanish treaty obligations. ent. The galera, our galley, The cautious Minister replied and its legitimate offspring, that the Cortes of Castile was the "galeaza

the "galeaza” or “galleasse, magni nominis umbra, thereby and the 'galizabra," showing his belief that the from the Mediterranean, and security was but shadowy. It were rowed. They were prohas been the fate of Spain to vided with masts and sails, enrich the ghost world of the but only for secondary use. past with not a few shadows Their main dependence was on of great names. One of them, the oar. It is true that the and not the least romantic "galizabra” was a cross between among them, is the shade of the galley and the “zabra" the vessel which the Span- of the Cantabrian coast; but iards name a

galeon, and it was more of the Mediterwe spell "galleon.”

ranean than of the Bay. The quite right; for the parent galleon had its origin from the name of the 66

galeon is in Bay of Biscay, and was a sailSpanish galera,” and in ing - ship. It came from the English galley.” Along mediæval "nao" or "carabela,” story of heroism, enterprise, which fought with Edward III. greed, folly, achievement, and in the battle off Winchelsea, disaster gathered round the named by Froissart “Espagnols galleon, and now makes

mer.' We have good large part of the history of testimony as to what the man's doings on the sea.

naos and “carabelas”-i.e., To begin by defining your caravels — were. The ancient terms is the counsel of honesty formula of the shipbuilders and of common sense. Therefore of Biscay and Santander, the first question to be asked, Asturias and Galicia, survives. and, as far as may be, answered, It is monosyllabic and laconic, is, What was the galleon ? consisting of no more than the The reply that it was just three words, “Tres, Dos, As" the Spanish equivalent for Three, Two, Ace. It means

the capital ship ” of that the keel was to be twice Elizabethan ancestors is ac- the beam (in Spanish, manga), curate, but insufficient. The and three times the height at galleon was the capital ship, the waist (puntal), or at any but with à Spanish char- rate that the height must never

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be more than a third of the pleted the first voyage round keel. There were two sub- the world, it surely behoves ordinate measures. The breadth the seamen of to-day to take of the bottom was one third their caps off to the memory of of the beam, and the total the Italians, Spaniards, and length (esloria) including the Portuguese who opened the rake of bow and stern was great ocean routes. equal to the combined keel and The galleon was, properly beam. A


was con- speaking, and at the beginning, structed on these lines in our only a "carabela” somewhat time, to show the visitors at improved as to her rigging an American exhibition what and increased in size. The the caravel of Columbus was. word came into use in the A Spanish crew took her from early part of the sixteenth Palos to New Orleans. They century. Our historians have found that she was not un- been too much in the habit of handy, and could make eight taking it for granted that she or nine knots an hour when was built on one unvarying running free, or going large in model, and also that she was a good breeze, but, as might always a large ship-as ships be expected from her lines, went in the sixteenth century. that she had one horrible vice. But these assumptions will not She pitched atrociously. The stand examination.

The galSpaniard has a better word leon was in fact very considerfor the maddening movement. ably modified and improved He says to “cabecear,” to take even in the sixteenth century. headers, to “piquer une tête,” Until the disasters of the war to put your nose into every- with England taught her thing. And the caravel was some wisdom, Spain was innot only ill proportioned, but deed content to build enlarged was ill constructed and rigged. carabelas — weak, lumbering The lack of internal lining left ships which rolled much and her dependent on the caulking pitched insufferably. But after to keep out the water. The 1588 our seamen saw a marked excessive length of the single improvement in the quality of spar masts, and the exagger. the Spanish ships. The Govated size of their one big ernment of Philip II. and his square sail, or course (papahigo), successors showed more intelliworked with a ruinous leverage gence than the world has given on the weak hull. Columbus it credit for, and it was served and Vasco da Gama were better in its naval administration by provided as to rigging than the some able men-Cristobal de mediæval seamen. But they Barros and the Knight of had not a better ship. When Malta, Diego de Brochero, we see what were the vessels among others. Royal Comin which America was reached, missions were appointed to the Cape was rounded, Magel- hear witnesses and report on lan reached the Philippines, shipbuilding policy in 1591, and Sebastian de Elcano com- in 1611, 1614, and 1640. There


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was much speculation and some the Board of Trade to the scientific experiment. Naval Indies, had left his title to officers and naval experts speak for itself all had been wrote treatises which

But he did not. He been summarised and extracted explains in his preface that as in the Naval Disquisitions of a painter is careful to choose a

· ' Don Cesareo Duro. The gal- studio which shall have a winleon changed for the better. dow opening to the north, so It is not necessary to give that he may work in freedom reasons for the direction in from the distracting rays of which the change was made the sun and in a pure light, so There was one obvious way of it behoves an honest author to modifying the “Three, Two, avoid all beams of prejudice Ace” formula with advan- and passion from one hand or tage. The proportion of keel the other. Therefore it is to to beam was altered till by be presumed that he wished successive steps it reached his 'Norte' to mean not only three to one.

The Spaniards the north star, by which a continued to build higher at course may be steered, but bow and stern than their neigh- also a pervading atmosphere bours, but in the end the gal- of "dry-light" accuracy and leons did not differ materially impartiality. in proportions from the ships The book is truly a good one, of England or Holland. The and the author spoke of what models finally selected are he knew. For

one of his described with their measure- varied functions as an officer, ments in the great store of both administrative and judiknowledge concerning them cial, of that wonderful body which bears the name of ‘Norte the Council of the Indies, was de la Contratacion,' and was to superintend the choice and published in folio at Seville in testify to the seaworthiness of 1672. It is easy to translate all vessels employed in the the title literally, for it signifies “carrera de las Indias," the

The Polestar of Trade,' but course to the Indies. Morethat is a mere dictionary ren- over, he did not rely wholly

a dering. Our prolific translator on his own knowledge, but from the Spanish, Captain called in

experienced John Stevens, who published naval officer and writer a a summary of the 'Norte' in on shipbuilding, Don Juan 1702, shirked the difficulty in de Echeverri, to write his techa mean way. He called his nical chapters. With the help book "The Spanish Law of of Don Juan we can see what a Trade to the West Indies.' If great galleon was.

He cites as the author, Don José de Veitia an example the San Josef. ObLinage, Knight of Santiago, serve that the measurements of Lord of the House of Veitia, a Spanish ship intended to be Counsellor and Treasurer to employed in the “carrera 'de his Majesty, and Ordinary las Indias” were taken in Judge of the Royal Court of “codos reales

codos reales” or royal cubits.


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Now the royal cubit was two- San Josef was not a very large thirds and a thirty-second part vessel, even according to the of two-thirds of the Spanish standard of the seventeenth yard, or “vara,” according to century. But she ranked as the standard which was kept a great ship. As a rule the in the Cathedral of Burgos. Spaniards preferred a vessel The size of the royal cubit of from 500 to 700 tons for may be given in another way, war, and of from 200 to 400 namely, as being thirty-three tons for commerce.

The great of those digits, whereof there question of size versus number are forty-eight in the vara, was briskly debated in Seville which is divided not only into in and about 1672, as it had three feet of twelve inches, but been no doubt at the Piræus, also into four spans of twelve when the “triêrês” digits. Now note that the novelty, and as it is to-day vara is about three inches less between the friends and the than the English yard, and the enemies of “monsters” and plain man who has no call to “Dreadnoughts." All

the go into hundredths of inches arguments for and against will can work the simple sum which be found stated in terms of will show him that the "codo galleons in the chapters which real” is, as near as he need Don Juan de Echeverri conwant to go, twenty-three Eng. tributed to the 'Norte de la lish inches. Then he can ap- Contratacion,' in very sound preciate the size of the great Castilian. galleon San Josef. She meas- The San Josef and her sister ured sixty royal cubits, say 115 galleons were the carriers of ft., on the keel, and seventy- the bullion of Peru and Mexico, two, say 139 ft., on the gun- the emeralds, cochineal, chocdeck. Her beam was twenty- olate, and other riches of the

cubits = 40 ft., and the Indies of small bulk but high depth of the hold was ten= price. Therefore it was that 19 ft. Therefore the San they were sought after by all Josef was a somewhat smaller those who were resolved to vessel than a British 50-gun share the good things of the ship of the early eighteenth cen- New World with Spain. They tury, which measured 117 ft. were many.

First in order of on the keel, 144 ft, on the gun- time come the Barbary pirates, deck, and 42 ft, in the beam, who began to plunder as early and had a depth of 17 ft. in as 1506. The French seamen the hold. The burden of the of Havre, Dieppe, and La galleon is given as 11091 tons, Rochelle followed. They were while the official measurement the forerunners, and in after of the British 50-gun ship was times the associates, of Hawkins 1053 tons. But measurement and Drake. Then came the for tonnage was like the money Dutch. The time of danger affairs of Mr Tulliver, “all à for the galleons was on the moodle,” in the days before homeward voyage. They went Moorsom. We see that the out laden with European goods,


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which were not worth plunder- Don Quixote' will remember, ing. Indeed, as the Spaniards had a leaning to believe that

not a manufacturing islands might at any moment people they purchased a great be found to be afloat. Therepart of the cargoes they sent fore, “the islands of the ocean out in Italy, France, England, sea, otherwise the Antilles, and the Low Countries. So were placed in opposition to no one had an interest in in- the Tierra Firme, which we call juring their export trade. The the Spanish Main. The springdesire of their rivals was for tides were of vast importance, the bullion and the colonial in the earlier days at least. produce. For them hostile Seville had the monopoly of squadrons, privateers, and the trade, and the vessels pirates cruised in the summer started from San Lucar de months. The course of Spanish Barrameda, at the mouth of trade was governed by fixed the Guadalquivir. Now, San rules, drawn up and designed Lucar has a bar which could to give safety. In truth they not be crossed by any but the were of no small use to Spain's smallest craft, except at the assailants, for they told every- highest tides. In later times body exactly when and where the bar became so serious an the galleons were to be found. obstacle that the staple of the

All galleons sailed either in trade was moved to Cadiz. the “flotas or in the "armada The flotas went first to Dominde galeones." Flota, accord- ica, in the Leeward Islands, ing to the dictionaries, means a

and there the ships separated fleet, and an armada is properly for the different ports to which a squadron. But in the trade they were bound. To each with the Indies the words had flota

there was

a General, particular meanings. The who sailed in his “capitana,' flotas were the

swarms of and an Admiral, who sailed in merchant galleons, and the his “almiranta.” The General armada de galeones was the was the commander-in-chief, armed force which went to and the Admiral was the second protect them. The flotas went in command. Their vessels out in two detachments and carried one-third less cargo came back together. With, or than others, so as to have room so soon as might be after, the for the detachment of soldiers, first spring-tides in May, the who formed their main, if not flota of New Spain - i.e., their sole, defence. They Mexico-sailed. The flota for carried few guns. It was the the “ Firm

Land,” Tierra flota of New Spain which Firme, sailed in September destroyed the squadron of or October. By the Firm Hawkins and his French Land is to be understood the friends at the anchorage of Spanish Main—that is to say, San Juan de Ulloa. the north and north-east of the The armada de galeones continent of South America. belonged to the trade of the The Spaniards, as readers of Indies as fully as the flotas,

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