On the 23rd of May, and the day of Pentecost, the wind became good; but because of it being a solemn feast embarkation was deferred until the next day; my lord the archduke and all of his company boarded towards evening with the intention of setting sail the next morning. But unfortunately while we slept overnight on the water, the wind became contrary; so the archduke disembarked, on Tuesday, except the baggage remained on the boats. The wind was then North-East, good enough to exit the harbour, but blowing the opposite direction for coming over here. The next day, Wednesday, the wind again became good, that is to say West North-West, but bad for leaving port. For this reason, my lord boarded towards the evening-time for the next morning, the last feast day of Pentecost, in order to set sail, and it then required the force of oars and pinnaces to take the big ships out of the harbour, as far as the mouth of the open sea and it took four hours until the sun was rising to make sail.
The Marquis d'Aghillar came there to take his leave, commending himself always to the good grace of the archduke and saying adieu to him, with tears in his eyes because he loved him and had been his guardian for a long time. Then he left the big ship and got into a pinnace to return to the port of St Andrew. As did the son of Mr Thierry le Begue, who was dressed and ready to put foot in stirrup, to run in post towards the king and announce the departure of my lord, his brother. Before his highness1 left Santander, one of his corps of archers died, called little John the lackey, and also one of the lackeys of the Lord of Roeulx2. For sure, no sooner were the sails up than with the help of God and the good wind which was then blowing, in a short
p.277time after, we found ourselves very far from land, so that by the afternoon we had completely lost sight of the land of Castile and the high mountains there, which can sometimes be seen from a distance of forty leagues.
In the flotilla of my lord there were only five big boats and the barque. On each boat there was a chief and captain, to oversee everything, and to keep order and police those on board. His highness had given an order so that each should obey them on pain of severe punishment for acting otherwise. There was there by order of the king, a good honest old personage, to be captain general of all the ships who was called Las Cavas, and he stayed on the boat of the lord de Roeulx, a gentleman called Boubaix was its captain; the lord of Bergues was captain of another ship, which was completely full of gentlemen and other good men, and also a big party of officers and servants of my lord. And on the ship where horses were stabled, a Spanish gentleman named Escalante was captain. On the boat of the lord of Saimpy, the captain was a gentleman of Faerrette, but I do not know who was in charge of the barque, and believe that it had only sailors on it.
In the boat there was, to accompany his highness, lords of Roeulx, Saimpy and Molembais and it was full of gentlemen such as Lalaing, Croisilles, Houffalize, Ravel, Charlo d'Achey and others from various nations, so I do not remember their names. Also an honest Castilian gentleman, who was his highness's grand equerry; he was always sick during the voyage, because he could not abide the sea. Also on the archduke's boat was the son of the Marquis d'Aghillar, and it was full of other young gentlemen, Andrieu de Douvrein, his personal butler, a Spanish doctor, two chaplains, two serving valets and the previously mentioned Captain Las Cavas as well as the master of artillery, Jenet de Taremonde.
This Captain las Cavas had all the appearance of being a thoroughly good man, with very honest conversation; and because the king had been duly advised of his memorable deeds and good services which he had done for
p.278his grandfather the King of Aragon, he ordered him to go with my lord his brother to Flanders, to assist him on his voyage if necessary. Amongst the feats of war of this captain as recounted to me, was the time when his master the king of Aragon was at war with France, in the dispute over the Kingdom of Naples. The captain was warned that a French warship, having pillaged and disarmed a Castilian ship, had put to death most of those on board, in order to make off safely towards Venice with its cargo. Recognising this, and to avenge this outrage, with due diligence he followed it closely. And the French ship was constrained to seek safety within the port and harbour of Venice, which was closed with a great chain across the water.
Thus Captain Las Cavas was minded to enter this port and seeing that the passage had been blocked at the request of the said French, went to put out his small boat and gave orders to some of his people so that they could go before the gentlemen of Venice to request them that they put outside of their port his enemy who had sought refuge inside it. And if this was not done, be knew well what he would do about it. The Venetians by response said to him that they had no war at all with the Spaniards nor the French, and had no knowledge of their disagreement, and if he had retreated into their defences against his enemy, he would have been afforded the same treatment, as the French boat that came seeking refuge. For this reason he should have patience or await its departure from there. The captain saw from this response that his enemy could not be approached. Yet considering that the wind in his sails was as good for going in as coming out and his boat was new and well equipped, he, incensed and animated by a desire to take vengeance, ordered the raising of his sails like a man possessed, and resolved to put all against all, without regard to the danger arising, came with great strength to crash into and to give the said chain such a very great daunt that he broke it and entered inside and came to grapple the boat of his enemy and tow it away with him; and those who defended themselves at the boarding he ordered to be killed. For that foolhardy enterprise, he was greatly esteemed in Castile. And although this was outrageously and madly done, it was also a courageous
p.279expedient, because of which his fame grew throughout the kingdom of Castile. This Captain of whom we are speaking was a very good pilot, valiant in war and greatly experienced at sea. In obedience to the command of his majesty the king, he came with my lord to Flanders.
On my lord's boat were twenty-five archers and officials of all levels, such as of the chamber, wardrobe, pantry, cellar, fruiterer, saucerie, kitchen and also of others. And although I was there, it was not by necessity, but by the order of his highness, I served only to recall and put in memory what happened during the voyage and that of which I had knowledge.