Saturday, March 6, 2010

Search for Secrets of A Sunken Cannon - 35

How many numbers will be associated after the title? I'm shooting for 125, the number of years since the Cannonsburg cannon disappeared in 1885, but was it ever discovered in the 1980's. Numbers aren't important. It's what happens between them. That's the secret mystery. To discover the final secret keep reading to find out what "Search for Secrets of A Sunken Cannon" revealed. To know the future of anything requires an education in past and present history. Maybe you'll discover a personal destiny change from the secrets of others.

When we left Queen Elizabeth I in 1558 queen Mary had just died and Elizabeth assumed the Head of England. As the last living daughter of King Henry VIII it became her sole responsibility to build up England's Army and Navy. No small task, but it was something that had to be done after Mary I nearly ruined England's stores of cannons. What remained intact had to protect the homeland. The old rusting cannons would have to do suffice.

As Queen of England (1558-1603) she stopped all exportation of cannons, but despite this by 1562, the Tower of London was overburdened with too many old guns so the Marquis of Winchester purchased an old monastery of the Minories. It had ample storage for non-useable ordnances and military equipment. After separating the old from debilibus cannons the queen ordered her commanders to purchase enough gunpowder to supply the Queen's service with cannons and firepower ingredients for the next 41 years (d. 1603), but her monarchy rule was anything but tranquil. Another family tree member would surface to challenge her rule and paranoia was going to get the best of Elizabeth, but she had spunk.

In 1574 the queen gave strict orders that cannon founders must restrict the number of guns cast to those for the Realm, however, since 1558 the production founders and workers were already making small cannons called poop and swivel guns. These were called Falconet's of the two-inch caliber that shot small 1.5 pound iron balls or stones covered in lead. This gun weighed a mere 500 pounds that could be 44-65 inches long. The Falcons of 2.5 inch caliber weighed 800 pounds. These were primarily bronze and brass cannons and used on ships. They were a lethal weapon when filled with debris, stones, grapeshot and jagged missiles; broken pottery, etc.

During this year Sir Richard Grenville tried to persuade Queen Elizabeth to let him sail thru the Straits of Megellan in order to circumnavigate the world. She refused his proposal because she didn't want to sacrifice any cannons, but with help from his cousins Sir Walter Raleigh and Sir Francis Drake the group had discussions with the queen. The proposal survived. Grenville was told he had to wait a spell until she felt at ease. Grenville bided his time giving the queen's rule no grief so she knighted him and he became the Sheriff of Cornwall.

In early 1584 Sir Walter Raleigh received orders from the queen to explore and settle North America, but she refused to let him leave England or set one foot in America. The queen didn't like Raleigh style of leadership. He was too impatient and arrogant. Raleigh aggitated the queen so she made an example of his prudeness and sent Sir Richard Grenville and Gov. Ralph Lane. 108 men and women landed on Roanoke Island between the Outer Banks and mainland in June 1584. England finally had enough military might to gain a foothold in the New World against an onslaught of Spanish conquistadors in central South America and Florida. Roanoke Island is where England's first settlers vanished before Sir Richard returned to the island in 1586. This was the "Lost Colony" off Virginia and northern Carolina.

Upon establishing a small community on Roanoke Island, the esteemable Sir Richard Grenville returned to England for much needed provisions, but the queen refused him passage to return until the following spring (April 1585). Grenville departed for Virginia, but he had put to sea before opening his orders that superceded his destination. His small fleet composed of the "Revenge, Tiger, Roebuck, Lion, Elizabeth, Dorothy and King Henry VIII", were to attack and raid any and all Spanish treasure galleons he encountered at sea or upon land fortifications.

When Grenville began to encounter Spanish galleons near North America he bypassed Roanoke Island chasing them on the high seas and pursued them into the Carribean, sunk or captured them stripping them of valuables and cannons. His men raided Spanish garrisons in central and South America and Florida. He returned to Roanoke Island in August 1586 with three ships to find it deserted, with the exception of three men left behind by Sir Francis Drake. Grenville re-established the colony and became a Privateer off the coast and captured a Spanish ship, then sails across the Atlantic to pillage the Azores about 800 miles west of Portugal. Although he promised to return to Roanoke Island with supplies again, the queen fearing war with Spain appoints Sir Grenville the Vice-Admiral of Her Majesty's navy. Try as he might she refused to let him return to Roanoke Island with the badly needed provisions. All he could do was pray they'd survive or had a "plan B" should he not return.

In 1588 tensions of war broke out. The Spanish Armada set sail towards England with 132 ships. England's navy consisted of 34 war ships and Spain was duped into believing the English had a pitiful navy and thought Grenville's small fleet couldn't survive, but Grenville kept his secondary fleet secret and the Spanish entered a trap. The Spanish Armada was sighted off the coast of England on July 29, 1588 and Grenville attacked on July 30th. The exchange of gunfire with the Spanish Armada lasted nine days, but on the 8th of August, the English navy had destroyed the Spanish Armada. Grenville's secret navy was comprised of 163 armed merchant vessels. Sir Richard Grenville with cousin Sir Walter Raleigh were responsible for joint defenses of Devon and Cornwall against soldiers of the Spanish Armada, but Raleigh's land based soldiers never got a chance to fight the Spanish.

Sir Walter Raleigh and Sir Richard Grenville then guarded the sea approaches to Ireland in 1859 by orders of Queen Elizabeth. Raeleigh was ordered to return to London after which he secretly began courting Elizabeth Throckmorton, maid of honor or Queen Elizabeth. The queen was furious when she found the two were more than just acquaintances. She was filled with jealous rage and had Raleigh imprisoned in the Tower briefly, then released him after her maid pleaded for his safe return and Sir Raleigh married Ms. Elizabeth T. Queen Elizabeth spared Sir Walter Raleigh, but to punish him further she prohibited him from leaving England. She sent Sir Richard Grenville and Lord Thomas Howard to set sail for the Azores and raid the Spanish treasure galleons wherever found, but Sir Grenville got overconfident.

Two years later in 1591 his small fleet of ships challenged some galleons, but in the ensuing battle at sea and not realizing it, some Spanish War ships secretly outnumbered and overpowered them and forced his ship the "Revenge" to surrender. His crew surrendered despite Sir Grenville's wishes. He wanted to sabotage the ship, blow it to smithereens so his cannons wouldn't be captured, but his men didn't want to fight anymore and the ship was captured. Grenville died aboard a Spanish ship in 1591 at age 49.

Raleigh got orders from Queen Elizabeth in 1595 to explore South America. He wasn't into raiding Spanish galleons, but instead landed in St. Joseph, Trinadad, but his heart was hardened by the gold in Indians he'd seen and began searching for the fabled gold in the Orinoco River country, but disillusioned he returned to England and was engaged in naval action with the Spanish again between 1596-97. When Elizabeth I died in 1603 James I became King.

Raleigh disliked King James so badly that he plotted to dethrone James, but when this fact surfaced Raleigh was imprisoned in the Tower of London for 13 years. He fritted time away writing poetry and conducting scientifc experiments and writing "The History of The World" as he knew it. The king released him and Raleigh sailed for Guiana, South America to explore, but was sidetracked and had his men search for the fabled gold-rich regions of El Dorado. Raleigh attacked a small Spanish town, but his son Walter was killed.

His men insisted he return to England, but soon after landing the men told the king that Raleigh engaged them in operations opposite his orders. King James had Raleigh arrested for interfering against him and kingdom and Raleigh was again retried in court on the old charge of treason against him and throne, found guilty and beheaded. Although Sir Walter Raleigh never set foot on American soil, the town named in his honor in America is Raleigh, North Carolina, for it was Raleigh that held the patent to discover and land the first English colony in the New World. Next time more tales and cannon history of the Lost Colony and the Cannonsburg Cannon.

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