In early and middle XVII century, the English experienced catastrophic effects of Berber pirates’ assaults to the southern coast of England. A lot of coastal villagers were kidnapped and disappeared forever, leaving their relatives in grief. English people were sold as slaves in the North of Africa, which is an unpleasant fact in the country’s history. Over several years alone, Devonshire and Cornwall lost 20 per cent of all their vessels and sailors.
In the time of Elizabeth I, the territorial waters of England were guarded by the fleet ships. But after her death, the number of battle ships was significantly reduced, because a peace treaty had been concluded with Spain by the Stewarts. Instead of combat vessels, the Stewarts constructed huge luxury ships designed to impress their new allies.
Fishing vessels were left unprotected. Feeling themselves as a prey for the African predators, the dwellers from the southern coast blamed the authorities for all their hardships and misfortunes. Instead of pride and national confidence, the hearts of the country’s residents were full of fear and uncertainty.
Trying to placate his nationals, Charles I Stuart equipped a combat expedition against Spain. In October 1625, military ships left Plymouth again. At that time, it was John Elliot, a Member of Parliament, who inspired the king to plot the crusade. And again, the Spanish town of Cadiz was to be attacked.
It was a tremendous desire to reproduce Drake’s triumph with holds full of treasures. But the plans went in a wrong way. Viscount Wimbledon was the expedition commander. He was completely opposite to Drake’s ruthless, ambitious and audacious nature. His indecisiveness discouraged the sailors.
Lack of charismatic captains, absence of military experience, zero coordination – all these resulted in embroilment among the fleet troops in the heat of the fight. Drake’s courage and glory had vanished into the past.